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  • D-1 to go before the prologue of the 24th Rallye du Maroc, which takes place tomorrow in the outskirts of Agadir. The 19 kilometres will determine the starting order for Stage 1.
  • 2,232 kilometres, of which 1,456 km will be special stage, await the competitors, who will be discovering a slightly different navigation philosophy on this edition.
  • Guerlain Chicherit and Skyler Howes, the two title holders, will be making their debuts in new teams.


Administrative and technical scrutineering began yesterday at the Agadir Stadium. The list of FIM competitors authorised to start the race will be published this evening at 20:00. The list of FIA cars will be published tomorrow morning at 09:30. The organisers have opted for a 19km prologue, the maximum distance permitted by the regulations. This should enable the competitors to optimise theirchances of being at the start of stage 1, the day after tomorrow, in positions that are representative of their abilities. A means of improving both safety and fairness.

In the motorcycle class, the quads will start the prologue at 09:05. RallyGP will be the last away at 11:22. The top FIA cars will follow at 12:08. At the end of the day, the ten fastest bikes and cars will have the privilege of choosing their starting positions for Stage 1. This first stage will immediately set the tone for the 24th Rallye du Maroc. Commented David Castera: ”I wanted to find a little more of all the ingredients you find in a rally, the ones I like and which are in a way my signature: changes of pace, varied terrain, but also the possibility to get lost. We have achieved such precision today that we have almost made navigation too easy. We’ve tried to backtrack a little to be a little less ‘helpful’. We wanted to toughen up the navigation a bit and we’ll see after the first two stages whether we’vemanaged to achieve that goal.”

A total of 2,232 km awaits the competitors, including 1,456 km of special stage. These figures have been revised slightly, in particulardue to the changes made to the route of stage 2, where the bikes and cars will finally not have different routes through the dunes of the Erg Chegaga. The high temperatures expected over the next few days (see Stat of the Day) have prompted the organisers to adopt a more cautious approach in order to optimise the motorcycle competitors’ safety, who are the first to run the risk of dehydrationwhen crossing the dunes.

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Guerlain Chicherit and Skyler Howes have at least two things in common (see Quotes): they are the car and bike title holders of the 2022 Rallye du Maroc and they will both be lining up at the start of the prologue aboard new machines. The Frenchman in an Overdrive Racing Hilux, the American on a factory Honda. Last year, Chicherit made an impressive comeback at the wheel of a Prodrive Hunter. Three rally-raids later, Guerlain is making a new start with Toyota. Skyler was signed up by the Husqvarna in 2021, his first factory ride. A year ago in Agadir, the fastest moustache in the desert scored his first victory in a round of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship. Like Chicherit, Howes didn’t enter the Desafío Ruta 40 and is returning for the W2RC final. For Skyler, it will bea return to his roots. It was on a privateer Honda that he scored his first rally-raid victory at the 2018 Sonora Rally.


Peak temperatures of 40°C are expected over the next few days in the regions that the race will cover. 40 is also the number of yearsthat separate the 24th edition of the Rallye du Maroc from the creation of its ancestor, the Rallye de l’Atlas. In 1983, a year after the first Paris-Agadir, the race was renamed the Rallye de l’Atlas. Serge Bacou in the bikes and Pierre Lartigue in the cars scored theirfirst rally-raid victories. Next year, the Rallye du Maroc, created in 2000, will celebrate a quarter of a century with its 25th edition. The saga continues.


In W2RC, Nasser Al Attiyah has a 51-point lead over Yazeed Al Rajhi, the only driver able to challenge him for the FIA title, with 55 points still up for grabs. Every stage will count and the first leg could already be decisive: the Qatari will be champion if his Saudirunner-up finishes outside the Top 4. Juan Cruz Yacopini must defend the third step of the podium from Sébastien Loeb, 8 points behind. In T3, three drivers from the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA are within touching distance of each other: Mitch Guthrieleads Austin Jones and Seth Quintero by 3 and 9 points respectively. The T5 title is also up for grabs with Janus van Kasteren 11 points ahead of Martin Macik. The suspense is also intact in the FIM class, where Luciano Benavides is under pressure from Toby Price and Adrien van Beveren, 9 and 14 points behind respectively. In the manufacturers’ standings, Honda must defend its top position against KTM, just 6 points behind. In Rally2, Romain Dumontier has the advantage over Paolo Lucci but the Frenchmancan’t afford to relax as the Italian is only 13 points behind. Ardit Kurtaj has the edge in Rally3, 20 points ahead of Massimo Camurri. Finally, in the quad category, 16 points separate Laisvydas Kancius and Rodolfo Guillioli ahead of the final.


Pat Kevor (boss of Challenge 75)

My first Rallye du Maroc… and my fondest memory:

”It was in 1991 and it was called the Rallye de l’Atlas. It was my first rally. Back then, the teams did their own refuelling and at the first one I couldn’t find my assistance. Inevitably, I ran out of petrol and was taken to the next bivouac in a medical car. The following day, I found a car and a can of petrol and we set off at 6am. We got back the next day at 11 in the evening. It was a real adventure. I stayedwith nomads, drank endless cups of tea… but couldn’t find my bike. Finally, I got in touch with a Moroccan who had some connections and the equivalent of 3,000 euros later, my bike turned up.”

My 2023 Rallye du Maroc:

”This year, I’m in charge of refuelling the Rally3 Enduro Cup Afriquia bikes and the Open Maroc Telecom SSVs. Of course, I immediately thought of what happened to me 33 years ago! The competitors and the organisation are much more professional, but the atmosphere is still the same. The funny thing is that I have friends who I used to race against who are here today to help their sons. We’ve got lots to talk about !”


Guerlain Chicherit: ”The transfer market has been relatively open since August, following the announcement of the arrival of Dacia and the departure of Nasser Al Attiyah from Toyota. I’m giving myself the opportunity to try out a car that I think will perform as well as, if not better than the Prodrive and am opening up my options for 2024 and 2025. I think I’ve shown over the last year that I belong in atop team car to win the Dakar and the 2024 W2RC and Toyota is clearly one of those options.”

Skyler Howes: ”We achieved great things with my previous team and I will always consider them as family, but this move to the Monster Energy Honda team comes at the right time for me and what I want to achieve in the future. When I started out as a strugglingprivateer, I was riding a Honda and dreaming of one day riding for HRC, so it’s no exaggeration to say that this is a dream come true.”


> October 12: general briefing at 8pm at the Palais des Congrès Dunes d’Or

> October 13: Prologue – Agadir (Liaison: 90 km / Special: 19 km / Total: 109 km) / Rallye du Maroc Festival free of charge in Agadir Place Al Amal

> October 14: Stage 1 – Agadir-Zagora (Liaison: 397 km / Special Stage: 313 km / Total: 710 km)

> October 15: Stage 2 – Zagora-Zagora (Liaison: 100 km / Special: 296 km / Total: 396 km)

> October 16: Stage 3 – Zagora-Zagora (Liaison: 108 km / Special stage: 333 km / Total: 441 km)

> October 17: Stage 4 – Zagora-Merzouga (Liaison: 78 km / Special stage: 343 km / Total: 421 km)

> October 18: Stage 5 – Merzouga-Merzouga (Liaison: 3 km / Special stage: 152 km / Total: 155 km)

> 18 October evening: Rallye du Maroc and W2RC prize-giving ceremonies

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