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Tarrés Back on the Podium in Morocco as the Ténéré World Raid Team Marches On

Tarrés Back on the Podium in Morocco as the Ténéré World Raid Team Marches On

Stage 3 at the Morocco Desert Challenge saw Pol Tarrés claim the Ténéré World Raid Team’s fourth podium of the rally as he secured third on the longest special of the event, just ahead of his teammate Rodney Faggotter in fourth, maintaining the duo’s 100% top-four finish record.

After an impressive start that has seen the Ténéré World Raid Team on the podium during the first two stages, Tuesday's 416 km special from Assa to Foum Zguid was no easy task for the riders. Starting directly from the bivouac, extreme heat, and the fact it was the longest stage of the rally meant it would be easy to make a mistake that could spell disaster.

Added to this was the fast nature of the route and its rocky nature, which along with the barren landscape, made navigation challenging and showcased precisely why the Morocco Desert Challenge (MDC) is known as an extreme Rally Raid event.

Tarrés, competing in only his second season in Rally Raid, showed why he is fast becoming a star in the sport. Starting from fourth, he caught Faggotter by the 17km mark and the duo once again, in a great show of teamwork, decided to ride together to minimise the risk. The Andorran flew through the stony valleys on his GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Raid alongside his more experienced teammate to secure his second stage podium of the rally, and third in his career, with a time of five hours, 11 minutes and five seconds, only 16 minutes and 55 seconds behind the stage winner.


After securing back-to-back podiums in the opening two stages, Faggotter once again produced another strong ride, with the 47-year-old taking part in his first competitive rally since Dakar 2020 as a replacement rider for Alessandro Botturi. Starting ahead of Tarrés, the Australian attacked the special in his usual style, taking turns with his teammate to lead the way, a tactic that makes navigation easier and allows the riders to maintain focus and avoid fatigue.

He ended the stage in fourth, just 53 seconds behind Tarrés, with a time of five hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds. The three-time Dakar finisher is now third in the general classification and leading the Big Bike category (600cc and above), with a combined time of 10 hours, 26 minutes, and 29 seconds. Tarrés is just one minute and 27 seconds behind his teammate in fourth overall to ensure the Ténéré World Raid Team remain 1-2 in class.

Wednesday’s 281km fourth stage is the first loop special of the 2023 MDC, with riders starting and finishing at the bivouac in Foum Zguid, and it consists of rocky valleys and fast, twisting rocky trails, plus it will see the competitors take on the dunes for the first time in Erg Chegaga as the rally kicks up another gear.

Pol Tarrés – P3 (5hr 11m 05s)

Ténéré World Raid Team

“I am really happy because today was a crucial day, as it was the longest stage of the rally. Therefore, the biggest thing for me was not to get lost because it would have been easy to lose a lot of time. Around the 17km mark, I caught Rodney and had two options. Pass him and try to chase down the leaders, but I think that would have been impossible, or ride together for the rest of the stage. It is better to ride together, in case one of us needs help, and to remain focused, plus it helps with navigation. The Ténéré 700 World Raid was amazing once more; honestly, today was a tough stage, with lots of rocks, and it handled everything thrown at it. To finish third and record another podium for the team is always good; bring on Stage 4.”

Rodney Faggotter – P4 (5hr 11m 58s)

Ténéré World Raid Team

“So far, so good! I think what Pol and I are achieving on a twin-cylinder production adventure bike is incredible. This is my first rally with the Ténéré 700 World Raid, and wow, battling at the front and doing so well against the rest of the field on 450cc prototypes shows what this machine is capable of. It is going great, and the bike has been superb. For the last couple of stages, I have ridden with Pol, swapping positions and taking turns leading each other. It keeps you motivated, and riding with someone else is good, as it was a long stage today. You don’t want to ride alone all day as you start to lose concentration. It is going well; let’s keep it upright and see what Stage 4 has to offer.”

Marc Bourgeois

Ténéré World Raid Team – Team Manager

“Once again, I am happy. Being in this position for the first rally together as a new team is great. It was a very consistent stage for the bike and the riders. It was the longest stage of the rally, plus there were lots of rocks and stones, which along with tricky navigation, proved a stern test, but the riders and the Ténéré 700 World Raid passed with flying colours. Pol was impressive; this is only his second season in Rally Raid. Despite his lack of experience, he navigated superbly and kept in touch with the leading duo, which is impressive as they are Dakar riders on 450cc prototypes with lots of experience. What can I say about Rodney? He has come back after three years away from competitive riding and has not missed a beat. He is working superbly alongside Pol, and there is a great atmosphere in the team, so we can’t wait to get back in action for Stage 4.”

Would you like to participate in a Rally Raid alongside the Ténéré World Raid Team? Thanks to the Ténéré Spirit Experience, which provides the perfect balance of adventure and enjoyment, you can discover the joys of rally while riding a route adapted to suit your riding skill level. Click here to learn more and book your place on one of the four remaining events in 2023.