On Friday, the team arrived in Menton, France, ahead of a day of technical checks and administration on Saturday, before heading to Monte Carlo for the official race start in the evening. Riders Botturi and Tarrés were introduced to the thousands of fans who had turned up to wish them luck as they rode through the ceremonial arch that signifies the beginning of the rally, which covers over 6,000km during 12 stages, before ending beside the legendary Lac Rose in Dakar.
From there, they headed 400km down the coastline to Sete for the 40-hour boat ride to Nador in Morocco, as they returned their GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid bikes to their spiritual home in Africa with the aim to become the first team to complete the rally on a twin-cylinder adventure motorcycle. Immediately as they disembarked the ferry on Tuesday morning, Botturi and Tarres set off on a 117.94km liaison to the first timed Special Stage, starting in Taourirt and ending in El Atef. Ahead of the duo was 93.97km of sandy tracks and rocky terrain in the searing heat of the Moroccan sun, with the dust making navigation difficult, especially as both riders started in the top three and did not have any tracks to aid with finding their way.