The Rallye du Maroc kicks the 2022 World Rally Raid Championship back into life this week, October 1-6, with Sam Sunderland leading a list of full-factory riders heading to this historic pre-cursor to the Dakar.

After two years of global pandemic, race director David Castera says he has finally been given free rein again in designing the 22nd edition of the Rallye du Maroc from October 1-6. Agadir will host the event which this year steers away from the more traditional classic desert dunes for a route along the Atlantic coast.

“Wilder than the previous years” they say, with four bivouacs and a promise of dishing up plenty of sand and navigation for this dress rehearsal for the 2023 Dakar.

Thoroughbred rider line-up

The Rally Raid World Championship (W2RC) has seen a resurgence this season with riders and teams behind the series more. Sam Sunderland leads the way, riding a crest after his 2022 Dakar Rally victory to win both rounds so far.

With the race traditionally also serving as a real taste of Dakar, and teams in the thick of preparations for the ’23 event, this year’s Rallye du Maroc sees a thoroughbred list in the motorcycle category including 14 out of the 16 factory riders.

2022 Rally GP class entry list:


With 140 motorcycles, the ’22 RDM maintains high numbers of entries in a total of nearly 250 vehicles expected to go through administrative and technical scrutineering at the Agadir Stadium on September 30 and the morning October 1.

Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda), title holder and second on both the Dakar and in the provisional World Championship standings, will be accompanied for the first time in a race by his new teammate Adrien Van Beveren.

Sam Sunderland (GasGas Factory Racing), winner of the first two rounds of the W2RC (Dakar and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge) will be attempting to win three in a row with Toby Price and Kevin Benavides on Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes aiming to put a stop to his run.

So too will full squads from Hero Motosports, Husqvarna and Sherco plus rising star Mason Klein who heads the Rally 2 and Junior categories on the BAS Rally squad bike.

2022 Rallye du Maroc route:


A giant loop of 2316 kilometres awaits riders, with the departure and finish in Agadir. 741km of that is liaison and 1575km special stage divided into five stages and punctuated by four nights in bivouac.

A first night rests in Tan Tan – a historical stage on the Dakar where the rally went in 2007 on the last African edition. That’s followed by two consecutive nights in Laâyoune, before returning to the first bivouac in Tan Tan and then to the finish along the ocean.

“More sand than usual”, the organisers say, with dunes around Laayoune that are maybe not so well known but are no less demanding than those of Ergs Chebbi and Chegaga and four consecutive nights shared in the bivouac. Typically these are the ingredients similar to those awaiting the competitors of the 2023 Dakar and the reason why this event is so popular and important.

David Castera is the architect of both events: “The Kingdom of Morocco has some of the most varied a territory in the world, where we can find almost all the elements of the Dakar. When I designed the route here, I also had in mind what awaits the competitors a few weeks later and I want to prepare them for it.

“Navigation and sand will be big parts this edition which will take place in wilder territories, on tracks often much less marked than those that competitors have encountered on previous editions. They will be similar to those of Saudi Arabia and will give this edition the profile of a small Dakar 2023.”


Race programme:

Friday, September 30: 08.00 – 18.30: administrative checks (Agadir Stadium)

09.30 – 20.00: technical scrutineering (Agadir Stadium)

10.00: opening of the press room and the accreditation centre (Agadir Stadium)

18.00: press conference (Agadir Stadium)

20:00: general briefing / competitors’ briefing for stages 1A and 1B (Agadir Convention Center - The Golden Dunes)

Saturday, October 1: Stage 1A - Agadir - Agadir (liaison: 49 km / SS: 9 km / total: 58 km)

07.00 – 10.30: administrative checks (Agadir Stadium)

08.30 – 12.00: technical scrutineering (Agadir Stadium)

15:55: 1st Rally GP start on Qualifying Special Stage

16:54: 1st FIA start on Qualifying Special Stage

19.00: the first 15 on the FIM Qualifying Special Stage will choose their starting order for SS1B (Agadir Stadium)

19.30: the first 10 on the FIA Qualifying Special Stage will choose their starting order for SS1B (Agadir Stadium)

20.00: publication of the starting order for SS1B

Sunday October 2: Stage 1B - Agadir - Tan Tan (liaison: 241 km / SS: 316 km / total: 557 km)

12.00 - 21.00: opening of the press room (Bivouac Tan Tan)

Monday October 3: Stage 2 - Tan Tan - Laâyoune (liaison: 120 km / SS: 315 km / total: 435 km)

12.00 - 21.00: opening of the press room (Bivouac Laâyoune)

Tuesday, October 4: Stage 3 - Laâyoune - Laâyoune (liaison: 23 km / SS: 299 km / total: 322 km)

08.00 - 21.00: opening of the press room (Bivouac Laâyoune)

Wednesday, October 5: Stage 4 - Laâyoune - Tan Tan (liaison: 219 km / SS: 346 km / total: 565 km)

12.00 - 21.00: opening of the press room (Bivouac Tan Tan)

Thursday October 6: Stage 5 - Tan Tan - Agadir (liaison: 89 km / SS: 290 km / total: 379 km)

12.00 - 22.00: opening of the press room (Agadir Stadium)

18.00: publication of the final results

21.00: Awards ceremony (Agadir Convention Center - Golden Dunes)



Photo Credit: RallyZone + DPPI