The 2013 series just concluded with the OiLybia Rally in
Morocco. This event is held almost entirely in the desert
sands of the Sahara. Morocco held extra importance this
time for two reasons: One, it was a final-round showdown
for the 2013 championship. Two, it was a proving ground
for the Dakar Rally itself, which was only three months
away. Honda and KTM both used Morocco to shake down
equipment for Dakar. Marc Coma and Kurt Caselli, in particular, would both be riding the new fuel-injected bike for
the first time.
For Coma, there was a championship on the line. He
missed the first rally of the year due to injury. That was
when Caselli had his debut ride as a stand-in rider. Later,
Caselli would gain a permanent position on the KTM team,
riding for Cyril Despres, who went to Yamaha. Caselli soon
proved his worth by winning the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in
Argentina. Prior to that, Coma had come on strong, winning the first three rounds in United Arab Emirates, Qatar
Morocco, with Honda’s Paulo Goncalves three points
behind. Kurt Caselli won the fourth round of the series.
Helder Rodriques on the new Honda had an excellent week.