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Climate change is happening and we can see it everywhere, even in this year's edition of Rallye OiLibya Maroc.  Before the start it seemed like the event had everything to be an amazing celebration of 10 years of existence. To make expectations even higher, both world titles (bikes and cars) were to be decided in this race, making Rallye OiLibya Maroc the most important race of the season.  Also, most of the big teams were present: like Peugeot, Toyota, and X-Raid, just to name a few among cars, with Nasser Al-Attiyah aiming for the title, and among bikes Honda, Husqvarna and Hero were also present, in this case with Honda rider Paulo Gonçalves to fight with Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla for the title. Even in truck category we had many motives of interest.
Some decisions, that the organisers took on the first day of the event, showed that something was different, like the decision to force the co-drivers to study the roadbook alone, inside closed doors, without contact to exterior world. Some tried to understand what was going on, that was maybe a move to avoid the "Google Earth" specialists to make their magic on the roadbook notes. Anyway, it looks like most of the teams didn't like this.
On second day, the rain came and the mess began:  the riders were the first to feel the power of the weather and the weakness of organisation. The chosen route was not safe, the flash flooding turned some oueds into raging rivers, causing mayhem among bikes.  Even the cars couldn't pass safely, forcing the organization to neutralise race on CP1 after the damage on the bikes’ category.   Many penalties were issue and later removed, due to the weather conditions, namely the problems with water on the road.
On the third day, the first of the two specials was also cancelled trying to avoid troubles, but the weather still had an important role in the course of the event. The route still presented problems, and crossing an erg, one of the trucks ended up on its side.  Until now, the story is nothing special, it could happen to anyone, but the failure of the organisers in helping to recover the vehicle, leaving the team to stay in the desert for two days is something strange. They could have their reasons, but it looks like they could have done more.
The race continued, always under a wall of clouds, and comments that something was not ok just kept coming.
Yesterday the race finished, after a long battle against the weather. Nasser Al-Attiyah appears to have won the race, but until now, it looks like the organisers don't want to confirm his victory, because of some reasons no one understands, and leaving many people unhappy. News are saying that something really different is happening back in Morocco. Social media is on flames, with comments we will not dare to cite here, blaming the organisers for a very odd succession of events.  But this is a round of both FIA World Cup and FIM World Championship, and is almost sure that these two organisations, especially FIA will help to clarify this sandstorm that is happening in the Moroccan desert.
The cherry on the cake arrived in the evening, wrapped in the form of the final press release of the rally (or at least appeared to be), in which we couldn't find any words about FIA cars. And we do need that information, after all, the title is at stake. Where are the news and quotes from the first cars? Well, we are sure the information will arrive, we only think that some kind of explanation should be there. On the participants side, all of them allready acepted the results and akwnoledge that Nasser Al-Attiyah is the winner, even if after the race the normal winner's celebration was oddly interrupted by the organizers.
The next days will be amazingly helpful to understand what is really happening or happened, but one thing is sure, it must be something really strange. Almost as strange as the weather of the past days in Morocco: where we expected sand we got mud, where we expect sun we got clouds. And with the race is the same: where we expected a winner we got nothing, just a loud silence. The Moroccan rain was indeed strange, but this race looks even stranger.
Changes are happening and not only on to our climate, some have already happened to Rallye OiLibya Maroc, too. The race has been sold to a new owner, who will be in charge for the event next year.

Now our deepest wish is for 2018 that the sun can shine on this race again, keeping it free from rain and all these odd and unexpected problems.

On a recent press release, NPO assumed negotiations to sell the rally, but denied that the race had been sold until now.  For the moment, what we can say is that the 2018 edition of Rally of Morocco will be organized again by NPO:
More information in the official press release avaiable here.

The Rally-Raid Network
Source of the image: Peugeot Sportᐧ

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