While the FIM Cross-Country series featured the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia and additional rounds in Abu Dhabi, Morocco and Spain this year, the 2022 FIM Bajas World Cup is being fought out over eight shorter three-day Bajas.
This season’s calendar started in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and moved on to Qatar, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Portugal again, before returning to the Middle East for this weekend’s seventh round in Hail and the season’s finale in Dubai at the start of December. Two proposed late summer events in Chile were cancelled.
This year’s FIM Bajas World Cup is therefore being contested over seven events with a coefficient of one and the finale in Dubai, which will offer a scoring coefficient of two.
The final in Dubai is open to all competitors, but in order to have a chance of being ranked in the FIM Bajas World Cup classification, competitors must have finished one of the previous events and scored points on it. The final classification will be determined on the basis of the best two results in the series, in addition to the points awarded in Dubai.
This is valid across the motorcycle, quad and SSV categories and in the Junior, Women’s and Veteran classes.
Motorcycles up to 450cc (single or twin cylinder, 2T or 4T) are eligible in the FIM Bajas World Cup, in addition to quads and SSVs. Riders of motorcycles over 450cc are able to compete but, as per the 2022 regulations, are not permitted to score points for the Cup.
Therefore, this weekend’s Saudi Baja provides motorcycle and quad riders with the last opportunity to score FIA Baja World Cup points and qualify for the Dubai final.
Hail was the host city for Saudi Arabia’s first ever international motor sport event in 2007. The Hail International Rally joined the FIA calendar as a candidate event that year after running as a smaller club-status event in 2006.
Hail has been an integral part of the FIA calendar ever since and officials permitted motorcycles and quads to take part for the first time in 2013. On that occasion, the Emirati duo of Khalid Al-Falaisi (Honda) and Atif Al-Zarouni (Honda) won the national motorcycle and quad categories for the first time.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), riders and drivers will pass their administration and scrutineering checks in Hail before the official pre-event press conference takes centre stage from 19.00hrs.