It’s countdown time for the fifth and last stop of the World Rally Raid Championship 2023 with the Rallye du Maroc! The race return once again to the south of the country, with a 19 kilometers prologue to dispute on Friday 13th close to the coastal city of Agadir.
The program will unfold until 18 October with five stages and a total of 2221 km between Agadir and the dunes of Merzouga – heading south through Zagora. Special stages will mean 65 percent of this extension, 1449 km that will demand a lot from riders and machines mixing hard and soft terrains.
Monster Energy Honda Team is leading the FIM Manufacturers Championship and will be at the start with five riders. American Skyler Howes – who won the last edition of the Rallye du Maroc – will do his first race dressing with the red uniform, having on his side fellow countrymen Ricky Brabec, Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren and the Chileans Pablo Quintanilla and José Ignacio Cornejo. They spent the last week in Morocco for training and finding the best strategy for the days to come.
The fight for the individual world title is still open and Adrien Van Beveren sits now in third position overall with 66 points.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « Here we are again to race in Morocco. The race will start in Agadir with a 19 km prologue and all points to a fast one ideal for technical riders. Then we go down to Zagora with two loops around, followed by Merzouga dunes. The team is doing well and we are leading the FIM Manufacturers Championship. On the other hand, Adrien Van Beveren is still a contender for the riders title. We will do our best to succeed and avoid mistakes. »
Ricky Brabec #2 : « My thoughts for the Rallye du Maroc are good! Our new Honda CRF 450 Rally is coming so I am excited to see how we do and our team cope with it. The season is about to finish and this also means Dakar Rally is around the corner, so I am super motivated to race here. It is always a great chance for us. »
Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « I am sure this race will be very important for our team, considering we will be racing in a new bike. It’s a very important learning process where we will be able to evolve on a day by day basis. We always need time to find the ideal adjustments and in my opinion this will be the most important mission for Morocco. I am not fighting for a position on the championship so my focus will be this development process and the Dakar preparation. »
Skyler Howes #10 : « Rallye du Maroc is a special race for me, my first overall FIM victory was here last year. I love racing through this desert, it is rough and always changing and in Africa the navigation can be very tricky! This is a really good test for the bike and team to prepare for Dakar. I am excited to take on this challenge with the team and see what we can learn and accomplish. »
José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « We are ready for the last stop of the World Rally Raid Championship. Morocco is always a great and very demanding race so I’m very happy to be once again here with my team. At the same time, this is a unique chance to prepare the next Dakar – so let’s do our best and race with consistency. »
Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « It’s great to be here in Morocco and it pleases me that there was not such a large pause in the championship after Argentina, like it happened in Mexico. I feel already with a new rhythm. I can’t wait to ride in the new Honda CRF 450 Rally and see how fast we can race with it. This is the last stage of the W2RC and everything is still possible, so I will fight for the title. Before Dakar it’s always nice to be able to compete in such a strong race. »