Dakar hero Moore heads back to Saudi Arabia

Charan Moore during the gruelling Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The 2023 Dakar Rally champion in the Malle Moto class, Charan Moore, from Ladybrand in the Free State, has confirmed that he will return to Saudi Arabia at the end of the year.
Moore, who won this year during what was just his second attempt at the gruelling rally, will not compete in the class again, but instead will race in the Rally 2 and in the Overall classes.

In the Malle Moto class it was very much a matter of being self-sustainable in the route and he had to do everything himself from setting up his campsite to services and fixing his bike.

This time around, he will have a full support team behind him and he told Bloemfontein Courant that his only job will be to race at 110 percent.

“It’s all getting there, we’re at about 80% of the budget and we have another month or two to really piece everything together, so there is a lot of excitement as we’re heading back to Dakar in 2024,” said Moore.

“After winning the Malle Moto class in 2023, it actually makes me ineligible to race in the class in 2024. They basically forced me out, but the plan was always to move on to a team setup for 2024.

“The difference now is that I have a full mechanical team – someone that looks after the bike from top-to-bottom and I only have to focus on racing.

“I don’t have to pitch a tent – I have a nice kind of truck to sleep in – the team organises that. There are mechanics, food, physios, all-inclusive which is really cool. The sole focus is to really race at 110 percent and see how I can compete towards the frontend of the field.”
Traveling abroad these days is an expensive exercise, and that cost is inflated so much more when it comes to competing in a sporting event, let alone with it being a team environment.”

The proud Free Stater Charan Moore after winning the 2023 Dakar Rally Malle Moto class in Saudi Arabia PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Moore added that costs are always a challenge, but he is fortunate to have partners that allow him to live out his dream.

“It’s crazy to think that we’ll be going back. This will be my third Dakar now and the first with the team. The reason I didn’t go like this before is that the budget is so crazy this year.

“Luckily, I have some good partners onboard and over the next couple of months we’re going to be doing a lot of work to promote that and show exactly what they put in to help me go to the Dakar, so it’s exciting.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘how do you afford to go to the Dakar?’, and how can I afford not to? Once that bug bites, it bites hard and it really keeps you there.

It’s the greatest adventure that us motorbike enthusiasts can take part in, so I’m just super grateful and happy to have the opportunity to go back and take part in this epic race.”

The Dakar starts on 31 December 2023 and finishes on 15 January 2024. – MORGAN PIEK