DakarWorld Rally-Raid Championship

2023 Rallye du Maroc: Toby Hederics, WiIlliam Grarre win Road to Dakar

4 Mins read
Credit: DPPI

Toby Hederics has a blueprint to take him to his Dakar Rally début in 2025, running races in his home country of Australia as well as select World Rally-Raid Championship events. As it turns out, he only needed one round overseas to already have his registration for Dakar guaranteed.

Hederics and fifty-four other riders entered the W2RC’s season-ending Rallye du Maroc with the goal of winning the Road to Dakar, a programme that waives the Dakar Rally entry fee for the top-performing riders and SSV drivers with no prior experience there. Despite his lack of experience outside of Australia, Hederics impressed as he finished sixth overall in the Rally2 class and seventeenth among all bikes to earn his ticket to Dakar. In the smaller, six-car SSV Road to Dakar, William Grarre did the same after surviving a brutal race.

Jaromír Romančík started on a strong note as he won Stage #1 and was the fastest RtD bike entrant through the rally’s halfway mark after three legs, though Hederics was behind him by just two minutes. A malfunctioning roadbook and a crash in the first third of Stage #4 caused Romančík to lose the top spot, though he managed to finish eleventh in Rally2. Hederics beat him by 7:35 in the fifth and final stage to clinch the RtD; Romančík was the only rider within an hour of Hederics.

While already secured his spot at Dakar 2025, Hederics’ roadmap also includes running the 2024 Rallye du Maroc and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to gain more desert racing experience.

“This rally was a lot of firsts for me,” said Hederics. “First time riding the rally bike, first time racing an international rally, first time meeting the race team and first time racing such long days. Everything was new to me so I went in with no real expectations other than to learn and finished the rally to I can qualify for Dakar.

“To say that I finished 17th overall and 6th in class just blows my mind and I could not have ask for much more.”

Jon Florea and Dominique Cizeau Girault were the only RtD riders who were also competing for points in the World Rally-Raid Championship.

Other entrants included Guillaume Borne for the Rallye du Maroc-organised Africa Rallye Team, Fang Xiangliang from Kove Moto’s factory team, Dakar legend Fabrizio Meoni’s son Gioele Meoni, sand racing veteran Marshall Méplon, Borja Pérez Casimiro from the neighbouring Spaish town of Melilla, and brothers Carl and Craig Searles. Those like Sébastien Herbet were already accepted to compete at the 2024 Dakar Rally, but hoped to get the entry fee cleared from their list of expenses by winning the RtD. Besides Hederics, Romain Bouzigon, Maxime Pouponnot, and Jonathan Savel were among those eyeing the 2025 race in particular.

On the SSV side, Eduard Pons seemed to be the favourite after dominating the previous W2RC round in Argentina before a tie rod broke late. He ended up with a repeat of the Desafío Ruta 40 as he won three of the first four stages before his gearbox failed in the final stage.

Amidst Pons’ stage wins, Grarre maintained a consistent pace that kept him fourth overall in the T4 class for much of the rally as he battled with those like Sonora Rally Road to Dakar winner Sara Price. He dropped to sixth after Stage #4 before moving up to fifth following Pons’ retirement.

Other competitors to have secured the Road to Dakar during the 2023 season include Tobias Ebster (Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge), Francisco Alvarez (Sonora), Jayden Els (1000 Desert Race), and Juan Santiago Rostan and Juan José Semino (DR 40). RtD winners may use their registration at the 2024 or 2025 Dakar Rallies.

The Road to Dakar will return in 2024 at all four W2RC rounds, the 1000 Desert Race, and the Sonora Rally.

Road to Dakar results


171Toby HedericsBAS World KTM Racing Team19:11:16Leader
2106Jaromír RomančíkOrion – Moto Racing Group19:18:51+ 7:35
3110Salvador Guiomar VargasXraids Experience20:20:27+ 1:09:11
470Jérôme BasTeam Giroud Universal Ride20:23:47+ 1:12:31
554Josep Pedró SubiratsXraids Experience20:48:19+ 1:37:03
694Alexandre VaudanTeam Casteu21:01:13+ 1:49:57
749Fang XiangliangKove Moto21:22:16+ 2:11:00
8107Dušan DrdajOrion – Moto Racing Group21:53:56+ 2:42:40
983Marshall MéplonMarshall Méplon22:04:45+ 2:53:29
10128Clément ArtaudTeam Dumontier Racing22:16:51+ 3:05:35
11108Julien DalbecNomade Racing22:37:12+ 3:25:56
12136Guillaume BorneAfrica Rallye Team22:41:41+ 3:30:25
13105Martin ProkešOrion – Moto Racing Group22:43:40+ 3:32:24
14133Yael KadshaiNomade Racing22:54:52+ 3:43:36
1567Bruno LeblancBruno Leblanc23:01:53+ 3:50:37
1687Damien BatallerTeam DB Racing23:39:22+ 4:28:06
17100Stéphane BrunaudNomade Racing23:44:07+ 4:32:51
1890Adrien CostesNomade Racing23:56:24+ 4:45:08
19123Fabian Von ThuengenHT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing24:04:58+ 4:53:42
20125Ganzorig ChuluunHT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing24:37:36+ 5:26:20
21115Adrien RolandRM Nature et Énergie24:38:37+ 5:27:21
22112Sébastien HerbetTeam Dumontier Racing24:52:23+ 5:41:07
2380Mykolas PaulaviciusMykolas Paulavicius Dakar Team25:07:59+ 5:56:43
2485Jean-Philippe RévolteRévolte Racing25:21:43+ 6:10:27
2582Christopher JautardNomade Racing25:46:08+ 6:34:52
2657Gad NachmaniClub Aventura Touareg25:57:16+ 6:46:00
27104Benjamin BourdariatRS Concept Team26:03:49+ 6:52:33
2897Maxime PouponnetTeam Maxime Pouponnet26:06:47+ 6:55:31
2984Carl SearlesSearles2Dakar27:05:49+ 7:54:33
3081Jonathan SavelJonathan Savel28:04:58+ 8:53:42
31102Borja Pérez CasimiroBorja Pérez Casimiro28:12:35+ 9:01:19
32120Ramon Vidal BreganteRamon Vidal Bregante28:18:36+ 9:07:20
3399Craig SearlesSearles2Dakar28:48:47+ 9:37:31
3456Rémy BrochartRM Nature et Énergie28:53:11+ 9:41:55
3540Jon FloreaGerula Racing29:11:48+ 10:00:32
3695Rémy MoreauNomade Racing30:07:59+ 10:56:43
3758Dennis MildenbergerNomadas Adventure31:53:51+ 12:42:35
38103Loïc PeyrichoutTeam LPC40:54:28+ 21:43:12
3989Paul CostesNomade Racing41:14:12+ 22:02:56
4096Frédéric BaudryNomade Racing56:55:10+ 37:43:54
41116Slawomir SypienDUUST Diverse Racing71:15:10+ 52:03:54
4262Frédéric GrignionRM Nature et Énergie80:02:34+ 60:51:18
4369Jorge Escobedo GilPedrega Team81:55:58+ 62:44:42
44121John SpelierHT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing83:18:38+ 64:07:22
DNF36Dominique Cizeau GiraultXraids ExperienceDNFN/A
DNF59Darren GoodmanNomadas AdventureDNFN/A
DNF64Modestas SiliunasAG Dakar SchoolDNFN/A
DNF92Gediminas SatkusAG Dakar SchoolDNFN/A
DNF101Guillaume RosierGuillaume RosierDNFN/A
DNF117Jakub KrezymonDUUST Diverse RacingDNFN/A
DNF119Steff RoweSteff RoweDNFN/A
DNF126Gioele MeoniDakar4DakarDNFN/A
DNF127Ferran Zaragoza RosaPedrega TeamDNFN/A
DNF139Romain BouzigonTeam Esprit KTMDNFN/A


1420William GrarreJulien VincentTeam Horizon Off-Road21:50:39Leader
2416Jeremie RenouNicolas LarroquetYDEO Competition23:03:19+ 1:20:40
3411Grzegorz BrochockiGrzegorz KomarOverlimit42:50:48+ 21:00:09
4407Adrien ChobletLaurent MagatTeam Casteu43:53:29+ 22:02:50
DNF405Eduard PonsMarc Erra JoveSouth Racing Can-AmDNFN/A
DNF417Hervé GuillaumeMaxime GuillaumeBTR-DriversparkDNFN/A

Road to Dakar stage winners

PrologueJaromír Romančík1:01:10.6 (12:14.6)Eduard Pons12:40.8
Stage #1Salvador Guiomar Vargas3:39:57William Grarre4:37:42
Stage #2Jaromír Romančík3:33:02Eduard Pons3:49:36
Stage #3Toby Hederics3:40:42Eduard Pons3:56:55
Stage #4Toby Hederics4:25:55Jeremie Renou4:52:13
Stage #5Toby Hederics19:11:16Grzegorz Brochocki2:50:43

Overall winners

T1201Yazeed Al-RajhiToyota Gazoo Racing14:49:09
T2251Ronald Basso*Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body22:14:17
T3315Marek GoczałEnergyLandia Rally Team16:22:12
T4403João FerreiraSouth Racing Can-Am18:26:24
T5506Michiel Becx*Team de Rooy21:32:34
RallyGP8Toby PriceRed Bull KTM Factory Racing15:56:43
Rally232Bradley CoxBAS World KTM Racing Team17:06:37
Rally3164Cheikh Yves JacquemainAfrica Rallye Team23:42:39
Quad186Alexandre Giroud*Drag’on Rally Team21:07:24
Open Auto601Jérôme Cambier*MD Rallye Sport21:21:46
Open SSV653Tomas Mickus*BRO Racing21:42:23
Road to Dakar Bike71Toby Hederics*BAS World KTM Racing Team19:11:16
Road to Dakar SSV420William Grarre*Team Horizon Off-Road21:50:39
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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