World Rally-Raid Championship

2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Abdulaziz Ahli dominates for fourth straight Quad win

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Credit: Bastien Roux/DPPI

The last time the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge‘s Quad category was won by someone besides Abdulaziz Ahli, COVID-19 had yet to exist. Ahli, who has won every edition since its resumption in 2021, found himself in a very easy position to score a fourth consecutive win with just two rivals, both of whom experienced mechanical trouble that knocked them out of contention.

After winning all but one stage in 2023 against five other riders, Ahli completed a clean sweep as he claimed all five legs (excluding the five-kilometre Prologue) in 2024. He joins Marc Coma as the only competitors to win the ADDC at least four times in a row; Coma achieved a five-peat from 2009 to 2013 in the bike category.

Kamil Wiśniewski, who missed the season-opening Dakar Rally due to injury, seemed poised for a strong rebound when he was the fastest Quad in the Prologue, edging out Ahli by three seconds. However, he quickly fell an hour behind Ahli in Stage #1 due to overheating temperatures on his Yamaha Raptor. Two days later, he was forced to retire from the race altogether when he crashed in the dunes, destroying the electronics on the vehicle.

Hani Al-Noumesi, the only rider of the three to run the Dakar Rally in January, never stood a chance against Ahli as he finished at least an hour behind Ahli in all five legs. He inherited second after Wiśniewski’s exit, but the closest margin between him and Ahli was 1:06:34 in Stage #5.

Hans Brehmer and Paweł Otwinowski were originally entered, the latter finishing sixth in the 2023 ADDC, but withdrew before the start. CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team, who made their World Rally-Raid Championship début in last year’s race, skipped Abu Dhabi due to shipping concerns related to the crisis in the Red Sea. Although he did not race, Dakar winner Manuel Andújar remains the class points leader while Al-Noumesi jumps from seventh to second; Ahli inserted himself in fourth, though he traditionally only runs the ADDC. Had Wiśniewski reached the finish, he would have earned twenty points to tie with defending champion Laisvydas Kancius for sixth.

Despite the limited field, Quad was not the smallest category at the ADDC as its FIM sister RallyGP had just two riders.

Quad overall results

1174Abdulaziz AhliAbu Dhabi Team20:14:22Leader
2179Hani Al-NoumesiHani Al-Noumesi29:20:50+ 9:06:28
DNF172Kamil WiśniewskiORLEN TeamDNFN/A

Quad stage winners

PrologueKamil Wiśniewski3:39.1
Stage #1Abdulaziz Ahli4:28:07
Stage #2Abdulaziz Ahli4:00:29
Stage #3Abdulaziz Ahli4:10:00
Stage #4Abdulaziz Ahli4:26:41
Stage #5Abdulaziz Ahli3:05:23

W2RC Quad standings

For readability, competitors registered for the championship but have not earned points are excluded.

1Manuel Andújar38Leader
2Hani Al-Noumesi34– 4
3Alexandre Giroud30– 8
4Abdulaziz Ahli25– 13
5Juraj Varga24– 14
6Laisvydas Kancius20– 18
7Antonas Kanopkinas17– 21
8Samuel Desbuisson15– 23
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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