The FIM Rally-Raid Committee has set out new rules for the 2023 World Championships in  Rally-Raid and World Cup Rally – top three riders to get time bonuses awarded and no more mobile phones...

Enduro21 realises this isn’t going to be earth-shattering news to most readers but it will make a heck of a difference to the daily, and overall results at the W2RC events including the Dakar Rally so we figured it was worth the study time.

“Analysis conducted during 2022 World Championship rounds showed that first riders who opened the stage are at a disadvantage to others.” Says today’s FIM announcement on the amended rules for topflight rally-raid. It’s kind of obvious and, to be blunt, is something they should have done years ago.

The long list of FIM officials which includes the Dakar race director, technical directors, sporting directors and more, all met during November to decide on the new rules following a close look at how riders were affected in world championship events during 2022.

Time Bonuses explained

Among the decent list of changes to be implemented across the next season, beginning with the 2023 Dakar Rally, time bonuses will be awarded to the top three riders opening the track during a ‘selective section’ (timed special section of the stage). 

Here’s how it works

• First rider to validate the WP Bonus: 1.5 seconds times distance travelled since the previous Waypoint (WP) Bonus expressed in kilometres and rounded down to the nearest hundred metres.

• Second rider to validate the WP Bonus: 1 second times distance travelled since the previous WP Bonus expressed in kilometres and rounded down to the nearest hundred metres.

• Third rider to validate the WP Bonus: 0.5 seconds times distance travelled since the previous WP Bonus expressed in kilometres and rounded down to the nearest hundred metres.

The scratch time at the finish of the selective section will automatically be credited with the time bonus in order to determine the starting order of the next stage. The bonus will be rounded down to the whole second and indicated on the time card at the end of the Selective Section.

There will be plenty of riders crying out at last on this news which has been expected but at last has been written into the rule book ahead of Dakar ’23 – the event which can famously swing dramatically one way and the next depending on stage winners and piste openers.

No more selfies

An odd one maybe but this addition stands out: “the use of mobile phones is forbidden during the entire race for safety reasons.” Reading between the lines a little, this could also be to do with GPS routes and maps being used on mobiles and the potential for gaining an advantage in this way. Either way, no more selfies in the stage boys and girls.


A post shared by Sam Sunderland (@sundersam)


Other new rules for ’23 – Rally2 winners moving up

Among the other new rulings is the category upgrade for winners of the FIM World Rally-Raid Cup in the Rally2 category. Riders like Mason Klein who won in ‘22 will automatically be promoted to the RallyGP category for the following year.

The trade-off for that, or rather the prize for the Rally2 winner, will be 100% of the entry fee for the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship season paid by ASO, the series promoters.

New safety rules

Technical regulations have been updated too with airbags already in use by most if not all motorcycle competitors will remain “recommended” for a further season but become compulsory for RallyGP class in 2024 with Rally 2 following on in 2025.

Helmet safety standards will upgrade in 2024:

• ECE 22.06 must be worn (or SNELL 2015, SNELL 2020 R/D & JIS T8133:2015) which are the “minimum” standards eligible to compete for the FRHPhe-02 (incoming new FIM Helmet Homologation standard which will cover circuit racing helmets and off-road helmets).

Starting order

Starting order of the first stage of a world championship rally has been clarified too. All RallyGP riders will start the first stage in the first positions of the starting list plus the following:

• The first 10 RallyGP competitors of the prologue will choose their starting order for stage one among the classified placings.

• The remaining RallyGP riders will be classified in reverse order of the prologue from first place on the stage start list.

Penalty update Rally2, Rally3 and Quad categories

For any start of a stage (or selective section) which is not taken (DNS) or for any abandonment (DNF), the competitors in these categories will be awarded a stage penalty but can still receive championship points so long as they don’t have more than one stage penalty.

That is except during a Marathon Rally, competitors cannot have more than three stage penalties in order to obtain FIM points.

In any case, to appear in the final FIM classification, the competitor must start the last selective section, cross the finish line and place his motorcycle in the Parc Fermé before the closing time.


Full technical regulations can be viewed here.


Photo Credit: A.S.O. DPPI