Thursday, May 23, 2024

Searles brothers enter Rallye du Maroc in Dakar 2025 journey

Brothers Carl and Craig Searles hope to race the Dakar Rally together in 2025, and will take their first major step towards that goal in October when they compete in the Rallye du Maroc. The duo confirmed their registration on Wednesday.

“Our entry for Rallye Du Maroc has been accepted. Racing this rally is part of our plan to qualify for Dakar in 2025,” begins a social media post from the brothers. “[…] We’re no strangers to Morocco, but not on motorbikes. We’ve been out in there in the Land Rovers many of times, all across these routes so we kind of know what to expect.

“We have a plan set out to get down there, more to come on that soon!”

Longtime motorcycle enthusiasts, the two developed an interest in Dakar from an early age before starting their careers in motocross. They eventually became instructors for BMW Off Road Skills, a school run by Dakar veteran Simon Pavey for aspiring adventure bike riders. Located in Wales, the programme introduced them to opportunities to break into the rally raid world.

Both have taken part in the BMW GS Trophy, an enduro series organised by BMW Motorrad, as well as 4×4 off-roading in their Toyota Land Cruiser. Carl is the older of the brothers by two years and won GS Trophy in 2018, while Craig represented the United Kingdom at the 2022 BMW International GS Trophy.

Outside of racing, the brothers are managers at Liquitech Ltd, a family-owned water treatment solutions business owned by their father Andrew. In 2020, the company sponsored Neil Hawker, a BMW Off Road Skills colleague who competed at Dakar in the Malle Moto class. Two years later, Liquitech supported Simon Hewitt‘s Dakar effort.

The Searles will race Husqvarna FR 450 Rally Replica bikes in Morocco, which they expect to arrive by September. Their efforts to reach Dakar are documented under the “Searles2Dakar” name and website.

“This dream began when we were around 10yrs old, we started watching these mad people riding motorbikes across the desert, at crazy speeds and having massive crashes,” begins the About Us post on the Searles2Dakar site. “Turns out it was called the Dakar Rally! From there it really gave us the bug for off road motorbikes.

“We shared our first motorbike, a 1998 Honda CR80. It was an absolute rocket, we didn’t get to ride it much, other than places we shouldn’t have been riding it.

“It wasn’t until we both started earning some money working for our family business (Liquitech Ltd) that we saved up and bought our own motocross bikes and started racing them.

“We raced motocross for around five years before settling into family life, buying houses and being grown up. Once we had settled, it was time to get some more bikes!. Between us we’ve owned all sorts of bikes, from sports bikes, to enduro bikes and the bigger adventure bikes.

“Riding the bigger adventure bikes, especially the BMW 1250 GS, opened up an opportunity for us to become instructors for BMW Off Road Skills. This experience, along with speaking to the guys in the team, opened our eyes to how you can achieve getting to the start line of Dakar.

“So here we are, we’re actually going to try and get to the start line and finish the Dakar Rally. Neither of us ever thought those words would come out of our mouths, but here we are.

“Someone has said to us that it’s not just about racing Dakar, it’s also about the journey along the way. We want as many of you to join us on this epic journey to the desert in Saudi Arabia.​

“It’s going to be one hell of a ride!”

The Rallye du Maroc will take place on 13–18 October, and is often used as a final dress rehearsal for those running the Dakar Rally.