Dakar Pulls The Plug On The Quad Class For 2025

After more than 30 years Dakar is pulling the plug on the quad class in 2025, leaving the FIM category with only two-wheelers. In the official announcement, the organizers express their desire to focus more on motorcycles instead, a category that has increasingly eclipsed the quads with its soaring popularity. 

“The Dakar 2025 will not feature a quad race,” explained the organizers. “We would like to thank and congratulate all the competitors who have been part of this adventure. The Dakar will now focus on the wildly popular motorbike category. We will work hard to fine-tune the selection procedure and boost the safety of the riders.”

Photo: Vinicius Branca/DPPI

This decision follows years of dwindling manufacturer support in the quad category as their interest shifted more to side-by-side vehicles. In fact, CFMOTO is currently the only OEM that has a full factory program in the class and most of the other riders racing a Yamaha Raptor do so with little or no support. 

Adding another challenge to the class, Dakar organizers introduced new criteria in 2024 that significantly restricted quad entries to only those who had either raced a Dakar in the past five years, signed up for 2023 or 2024 World Rally Raid Championship or participated in three W2RC races. In contrast, the entry regulations for motorcycle riders are less stringent, allowing them to build their resume for the 2025 Dakar using races dating back to 2022.

Dakar Pulls cancels The Quad Class
 Photo: Julien Delfosse/DPPI Images

The increasing struggles in the quad category have contributed to dwindling rider participation. In 2023, there were 19 quad entries. In 2024, the number went down even more to only 10. Pablo Copetti, who finished Dakar 2023 in third place, expressed his concerns following last year’s announcement of the strict entry rules. “ASO made decisions that are killing the quad class. Only 10 quads this year! It’s a pity because if they accept all the riders we could be almost 30!” said Pablo at the time. 

For now, it seems organizers are keeping the door open for the potential return of the class if things change in the future. However, considering the continuous decline in interest over the years in Sport ATVs, the prospects for the quad class in the Dakar seem rather bleak. Motorcycles on the other hand have been a constant draw for A.S.O. and organizers feel that’s where their focus should be.

Dakar Pulls drops The Quad Class
Photo: Frederic Le Floc’h/DPPI

“We have decided to stop the quad category next year in ‘25, because we are going to focus more on bikes,” added Dakar Rally Director, David Castera. “We have many, many demands from competitors and we want to focus more on bikes. We have few quads now, there is no manufacturer to support all the competitors, so that’s why we are going to stop it for the moment.” 

While gone from Dakar, the quads will continue in the other World Championship races — at least for now. 

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