Pol Tarres and Yamaha Ténéré 700 Triumphs in Moroccan Desert Challenge 2024

Pol Tarres and the Yamaha Ténéré 700 triumphs in Moroccan Desert Challenge 2024.

The victory goes into the record books as the first rider to win the rally on a twin-cylinder adventure motorcycle, by beating out specialised single-cylinder 450cc Rally entrants. Tarres won in six of the eight stages, including the last special stage.

This was the rider’s maiden desert rally win. He led from the start by attacking the stages despite being the “sweeper” and trailblazer being in front. By doing so, he won the first four stages. A sandstorm swept in during the fifth stage, so Tarres waited it out before finishing in second.

The sixth stage saw him finishing in fourth despite errors in his roadbook which missed two waypoints.

He came back to winning the seventh and penultimate stage, and gassed through the final stage to win the crown.

Another amazing fact is that Tarres had been competing in Rally Raids only since 2022. He had been on the podium of the Morocco Desert Challenge in 2023. This victory is another notch in his cap after the 2023 TransAnatolia, and the third place at the Africa Eco Race this January.

His performance meant he took the overall victory by an astounding margin of 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 6 seconds, a feat made all the more remarkable due to the fact he was competing on the Yamaha Ténéré 700 against lighter single-cylinder 450cc purpose-built machines.

This year’s Morocco Desert Challenge covered more terrain this year, despite an extremely tough 2023 edition that took the life of two participants. The 3,000 km route connected the Mediterranean sea and Atlantic ocean through some of the toughest terrain on the planet.

Closer to home, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 has been reigning supreme in the Rimba Raid rally races, particularly among the Thai participants.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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