Matthieu Jaffraud‘s Dakar Rally dream will have to wait another year. As the Amaury Sport Organisation began sending out messages to applicants either accepting or denying them entry in the 2024 Rally, Jaffraud fell under the latter category as organisers felt he has not built up enough of a portfolio in desert rallies.
As a result, he will now focus on making the 2025 race by entering desert races such as the Rallye du Maroc in October and its 2024 edition, as well as the 2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Both are rounds of the World Rally-Raid Championship.
“‘Reculer pour mieux sauter,'” goes the saying,” began a post from Jauffraud made Sunday. The phrase, which roughly translates to “take a step back to jump further”, is a French proverb that means to perform an action that might seem negative at first but will lead to a positive impact in the long run.
“When the list of drivers selected for the Dakar 2024 was released, and after discussing it with the organisation, the Jauffraud Racing Team is postponing its participation in the Dakar Rally to 2025.
“The lack of desert rally experience does not allow me to be on the list of qualified riders for 2024. But we will remedy this by gaining experience from next October with the Rallye du Maroc and program other rallies for 2024 with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Rallye du Maroc 2024.
“The project remains the same, motivation is intact.”
Jauffraud began his Dakar project in 2022 with plans of doing rally raids in Europe before heading to the desert the following year for the Rallye du Maroc. In May, he raced the Hellas Rally Raid in Greece, finishing forty-eighth overall and twenty-first in the M3 category.
A physiotherapist by trade from Angers, he began riding motorcycles at the age of three. He competed in into motocross events throughout France along with enduro and the Enduropale du Tuoquet, the latter the largest and oldest sand race in the world and a round of the inaugural FIM Sand Races World Cup.
His friend Jonathan Savel also signed up for the 2024 Dakar Rally, finishing six spots behind Jauffraud at Hellas.
The ASO and FIM began selecting riders for Dakar on 20 July. Despite not being accepted for the Dakar Rally, Jauffraud could still earn free admission if he wins the Road to Dakar at Morocco or Abu Dhabi.
The 2023 Rallye du Maroc runs on 13–18 October.