World Rally-Raid Championship

Morocco Desert Challenge drops Malle Moto, adds health measures for 2024

1 Mins read
Credit: Morocco Desert Challenge

The 2023 Morocco Desert Challenge took place in unusually hot conditions for April, tragically contributing to the death of bike competitor Bram van der Wouden from heat stroke. In hopes of reducing the risks of repeat medical incidents in 2024, race officials announced Friday that the Malle Moto class will not be held while all competitors are required to present a passing fitness test from within the past year.

Van der Wouden raced in the Malle Moto category, which is reserved for bike riders competing without any assistance from a team or crew. A former Dakar Rally Malle Moto alumnus, the 48-year-old was discovered by his peers lying on the ground next to his bike during a stage, dying from heat stroke by the time medical workers arrived on the scene. His passing came just a day after the death of co-driver Laurent Lichtleuchter, who was killed in a fiery accident that resulted in burns and hospitalisation for his driver Patrice Garrouste.

In the wake of the tragedies, the MDC elected to drop Malle Moto from the 2024 programme. With registration already underway, the race has offered Malle Moto applicants a refund of their entry deposit or they can join up with a team. Other available bike categories include those separated by engine size (Standard for 250–600cc and Big Bike for 601–1300cc), a class for female riders, and the Veterans Cup for those over the age of fifty.

“The extreme conditions of the MDC2023 were felt hardest by the Malle Moto riders,” reads a statement from the race. “A whole day on the bike and then tinkering late into the evening in extreme conditions. Without the assistance of a team, this proved unjustifiable for some participants in this category.”

Airbag vests have also been made mandatory for all bike riders.

The 2024 Morocco Desert Challenge will run from 13 to 20 April. Eight stages long, it begins in Agadir and ends in Saïdia.

Avatar photo
3339 posts

About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
Related posts
World Rally-Raid Championship

Olympic medalist Marco Aurelio Fontana set for Africa Eco Race debut

1 Mins read
Marco Aurelio Fontana, the 2012 Summer Olympics bronze medalist in cross-country cycling, has since started dabbling in cross-country rally rider and will enter the 2024 Africa Eco Race.
DakarWorld Rally-Raid Championship

CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team to run nearly full 2024 W2RC

1 Mins read
After running two rounds of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship, CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team will elevate to four of five in 2024 including their maiden Dakar Rally.
World Rally-Raid Championship

Luciano Benavides: "I've been getting stronger and stronger in every race"

2 Mins read
As the World Rally-Raid Champion for RallyGP, Luciano Benavides was among 58 champions honoured at the 2023 FIM Awards in Liverpool this past weekend.