Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price and Matthias Walkner are ready to race the 2023 Rallye du Maroc. The five-stage event marks the final round of this year’s FIM World Rally-Raid Championship, in which Toby Price lies second overall in the standings, trailing the leader by just nine points.
Kicking off with a prologue on Friday, October 13, the Rallye Du Maroc will see riders face a further five full stages of racing through the Moroccan Desert, starting at the bivouac in Agadir and working its way east. Totaling 2,240 kilometers, the race will deliver challenging navigation over tough terrain for the first half of the event before leading riders through the iconic Merzouga dunes ahead of the finish on October 18.
Coming into the Rallye du Maroc lying second in the world championship standings, Toby Price is looking to make amends for the technical issue that cost him both time and the championship lead at the previous round of the series – the Desafio Ruta 40. Thankfully, Price was able to continue and ultimately fought back over the three remaining stages to secure a top-ten finish, earning himself valuable W2RC points.
Despite being on the back foot coming into the Rallye du Maroc, Toby is fired up to give his all at the Moroccan event and will do all he can to make up the nine points needed to take the championship win.
Toby Price: “It’s gonna be a warm one over here! All in all, Morocco is always a good challenge – it’s really stony and a lot of things can catch you out, like it did last year. It was a bit of a tough one for me last year, so the goal is just to get across the finish line in one piece and keep myself ready for January. Although the situation in Argentina dampened our championship hopes a bit, we're still in the game. We'll see what the last day brings!”
With his early season disrupted by injury, Matthias Walkner returned to world rally-raid competition at the Sonora Rally in April before arriving at the Desafio Ruta 40 fully fit and ready to challenge for the win. On stage two of the Argentinian event, Walkner sacrificed his own results to help teammate and title contender Toby Price continue with his race. Heading into the Rallye du Maroc, Matthias will be looking to gain some valuable race time ahead of the upcoming Dakar Rally in January, as well as testing the latest updates to the KTM 450 RALLY.
Matthias Walkner: “Honestly, I’m super happy that we are back racing! In my last race in Argentina I didn’t have much time to ride beforehand but over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried to prepare myself better, so I’ve spent plenty of hours on the bike. There are also new updates to the bike that we’re using for the first time in this race. Morocco is always an important event because everyone is there and using their best set-up. I’ll try to do my best – I feel ready to race and I'm looking forward to it!”
While Kevin Benavides is in Morocco with the team and has been able to carry out some valuable testing on his KTM 450 RALLY, the reigning Dakar Rally Champion has chosen to sit out the Rallye du Maroc and focus on being 100 percent for the Dakar in January.
The Rallye du Maroc prologue commences on Friday, October 13, followed by five full days of racing in the desert before the finish on October 18 in Merzouga, Morocco.