Skyler Howes, Jane Daniels and digital roadbooks make their debuts as FIM World Rally Raid Championship makes its final stop of the 2023 season at the Rallye du Maroc where Luciano Benavides and Toby Price shootout for the W2RC title.

It’s crunch time in the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) as the caravan heads to north Africa for the final round. Luciano Benavides heads the points table on 80 with Toby Price on 71 and still potentially capable of winning the world title.

Among the 16 RallyGP bikes and six different manufacturers in the premier class just a handful of riders are missing as they make their final preparations this week for the 2024 Dakar Rally.

The entry list below shows squads from Sherco, Hero Motosports, KTM, GASGAS and Husqvarna respectively. Of the big names Kevin Benavides and Daniel Sanders will be missing from the start line as they recover from leg injuries.

Honda arrives strongest in their pursuit of the win with no less than six riders - five official guys plus supported rider Tosha Schareina, the recent winner of the Desafío Ruta 40.

Of the five official pilots Skyler Howes, winner of the 2022 Rallye du Maroc, will make his debut in Agadir.

Skyler Howes joins Monster Energy Honda Rally Team


Digital roadbook guinea pigs and Jane Daniels makes debut

In Rally2, among the 97 expected riders (from a healthy 125 in total across the bike classes), W2RC regulars Romain Dumontier, Paolo Lucci, Bradley Cox and Michael Docherty head the entry list in the second-tier class.

This week will see this class act as guinea pigs for the introduction of digital roadbooks in the main motorcycle categories.

Enduro21 understands there are mixed feelings in the rally bike elite about the introduction of the digital roadbooks. They work very well and make life easier for drivers as well as the organisers in the cars and trucks. But two-wheeled tests with factory riders are said to be not so successful with glare being a major issue for riders trying to ride fast and navigate using effectively what is an iPad screen.


Two manufacturers will be introducing new riders: Chinese brand Kove will be out in force with four pilots including Xavier Flick making his debut alongside experienced French rider Neels Théric and the two Chinese riders Sunier Sunier and Fang Xiangliang.

Following on from the development work carried out by the legendary Franco Picco, Italian manufacturer Fantic Racing will field Italian Tommaso Montanari and our very own Women’s Enduro Champion, Jane Daniels, plus French rider Jérémy Miroir.

The son of Alfie Cox is already in Rally2, but next week the son of another KTM legend Fabrizio Meoni, Gioele Meoni, will be in Morocco before setting off on the Dakar.

2023 Rallye du Maroc schedule:

  • October 9: opening of the Parc d'Asssistance at 2pm
  • October 10 and 11: private tests
  • October 11 and October 12: administrative and technical scrutineering
  • October 12: general briefing at 8pm at the Palais des Congrès Dunes d'Or
  • October 13: Prologue - Agadir (Liaison : 90 km / Spéciale : 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: 311 km / Total: 708 km)
  • October 15: Stage 2 - Zagora-Zagora (Liaison: 100 km / Special stage: 288 km / Total: 388 km)
  • October 16: Stage 3 - Zagora-Zagora (Liaison: 108 km / Special stage: 336 km / Total: 444 km)
  • October 17: Stage 4 - Zagora-Merzouga (Liaison: 75 km / Special stage: 343 km / Total: 418 km)
  • October 18: Stage 5 - Merzouga-Merzouga (Liaison: 0 km / Special stage: 152 km / Total: 152 km)
  • October 18 evening: prize-giving ceremony

2023 Rallye du Maroc Entry list (top bikes)


Full entry list here: 2023 Rallye du Maroc entry list

As it does every year, the Rallye du Maroc and its major partners are working together to take concrete action for the benefit of all Moroccans, to ensure that the Rallye du Maroc is a rally for the whole nation.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, 300kg of medicine has already been sent by the organisation to the Agadir University Hospital, which is responsible for distributing it to the stricken villages in the neighbouring region of Taroudant.

All competitors are currently being asked to take part in a major collection of material, so that they too can play their part in the chain of solidarity being set up across the Kingdom. Five villages identified by an association in conjunction with the authorities will receive direct support from the Rallye du Maroc.

Stat of the week: 50,000

50,000 people are expected to flock to the Place Al Amal in Agadir on the evening of Friday 13 October for the Rallye du Maroc Festival.

“It is with a great deal of emotion that we are organising the 24th Rallye du Maroc against the backdrop of the ongoing national healing process following the earthquake that affected part of the Moroccan population at the beginning of September.”  Explains race director, David Castera.

“The route of this edition, as I had planned it, has been maintained in its entirety. I would like to thank our host country and its people for allowing us to organise this new edition of the Rallye du Maroc. It's a source of pride to be able to welcome such a strong line-up, but it's also a responsibility. Not just with regard to the competitors, but also for the local area and its inhabitants. As we do every year, we're going to do everything we can to meet these challenges.”


Photo Credit: DPPI + Sam Decout + Future7Media