Pol Tarrés and Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team rewrite the record books at 2024 Morocco Desert Challenge

Yamaha Logo

Unstoppable Tarrés Storms to Sensational Morocco Desert Challenge Victory

Pol Tarrés and the Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team continued to rewrite the record books as they dominated the 2024 Morocco Desert Challenge, winning six stages, including the final timed special, to claim a stunning victory and create history by becoming the first rider to emerge victorious at the rally on a twin-cylinder adventure bike.

After eight stages and over 3000km across some of the toughest terrain on the planet, Tarrés’ triumph came in dominant fashion. The Andorran had led the rally right from the off, attacking as hard as he could, even though he was at the disadvantage of leading most of the stages.

Incredibly, he won the first four timed specials in style, opening up a significant lead in the overall standings, before sandstorms on the fifth stage saw a more mature side emerge from Tarrés as he patiently waited for the worst to pass before finishing the day in second.

The most challenging day coming into the final stage for Tarrés was the sixth stage, as he had to enter damage limitation mode due to a couple of errors in the roadbook with two missing waypoints. Yet, amazingly, he still managed to finish the special in fourth. The former hard enduro rider bounced back with another victory on the penultimate special before powering to his sixth stage win on Saturday to crown a sublime display.

Tarrés has only been competing in Rally Raid since 2022, making his achievements in Morocco even more profound, especially as he was riding without his usual teammate Alessandro Botturi due to a schedule clash for the experienced Italian as he instead focused on fighting for the title in the 2024 Italian Motorally Championship.

A podium finisher in the 2023 edition of the Morocco Desert Challenge, coming into the 118km final stage, Tarrés had a lead in the general classification of over two hours and twenty minutes, knowing that he just had to bring it home to seal his first rally victory in Africa, to add to his win at the 2023 TransAnatolia, and his third-place finish at the Africa Eco Race in January.

Instead of taking it easy, especially as the stage was a real challenge for the riders’ navigational skills, he attacked in his indomitable “Tarrés style” on his Ténéré 700 World Rally with the three-stage GYTR Kits fitted to win the special in one hour, ten minutes, and five seconds.

 

Tarrés’ commanding performance meant he took the overall victory by an astounding margin of two hours, 21 minutes, and six seconds, a feat made all the more remarkable due to the fact he was competing against single-cylinder 450cc prototype machines.

Racing alongside Pol as a part of the Ténéré Spirit Experience was Stephane Poulet. The French rider made it a Yamaha one-two in the M1.2 class (601cc and above) and claimed a best stage finish of 12th overall, ending the rally in a respectable 17th in the general classification.

Next up for Tarrés and the Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team is the Hellas Rally in Greece from the 27th of May to the 2nd of June.

Stage 8 Results

General Classification

Pol Tarrés – Stage 1st/Overall 1st
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team
“This final stage, while fast, was rather tough. The navigation was tricky from the start, but I am happy with how I managed it. I won the stage, which was a great way to cap off this rally. It is my first rally victory in Africa, and it means a lot to me. My GYTR-kitted Ténéré 700 World Rally has been amazing all rally and never missed a beat. I could attack on most stages because I had such a great feeling with the bike. The Morocco Desert Challenge certainly lived up to its tough reputation, but we did it, and we won, and I am delighted. Not just for me but for the whole team who have worked tirelessly to get us here. I learned a lot during the rally and cannot wait for the next one.”

Marc Bourgeois
Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team – Team Manager
“The last stage was short but tricky. I feel that Pol has really proved his navigation skills and has gained huge amounts of experience, as he showed on the final stage. It would have been very easy for him to have made mistakes, but he was faultless. Pol is still relatively new to rally raid, so he is still learning, but his attitude is superb, and he is always learning. The bike was amazing and allowed Pol to ride at his best. I want to thank the whole team for their efforts at this rally. Honestly, this whole event has been amazing, and securing a Yamaha one-two in class with Stephane caps off an excellent rally for us. It has also been great to have the Ténéré Spirit Experience Raid category riders with us, enjoying the thrills and spills of the rally raid along with the team without the pressure of racing against the clock. The 2024 Morocco Desert Challenge has been epic, and we are already planning for our next race!”

 

About Michael Le Pard 10310 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle, the World’s Largest Motorcycle Site with over 425 million readers since 1999. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach 425 million people has been incredible and I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members...thank you so much! We are all making a difference to millions of riders worldwide.