25 Riders from 12 Nations in the 2023 FIM Bajas World Cup

   Feb 13,2023

Thirty-one motorcycles, five quads, and racers from 12 countries have entered this weekend's Saudi Baja-Hail, the first round of the 2023 FIM Bajas World Cup, with four riders competing in a national event.


This year's FIM Bajas World Cup opening round will include no Indian riders. While two-time event winner Mohammed Al-Balooshi of the MX Ride Dubai team leads the lineup on his TM 450, the foreign entry includes two other prior Hail winners.

Sultan rides for the MX Ride Dubai team, while Saudi rider Mishal Al-Ghuneim finished third on a Husqvarna in 2021. 

There is depth in the field, with several riders capable of challenging for victory, while others will hope to score points in the FIM Women's and FIM Veterans' categories.

Abdullah Abu Aishah (KTM), a young Jordanian rider, has previously pushed Al-Balooshi close and hopes to begin his FIM challenge in winning fashion. Last November, he finished fifth in the 2022 Saudi Baja, trailing Al-Balooshi, Kuwait's Abdullah Al-Shatti (Kawasaki), Al-Ghuneim, and fellow Saudi Anass Al-Reheyani. All three competitors will be vying for the top spot again this weekend.

FIM Junior contender Alex McInnes is seeded fourth and is more than capable of finishing on the podium. At the same time, the Australian is based in Qatar and finished sixth last year and will be looking for a top-three result. Other international contenders for the top spot include Kiwi Philip Wilson, Australian Andrew Houlihan, and the British combination of Barry Howe and Brett Hunt.

Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani (Gas-Gas), Mohammed Al-Kaabi (KTM), Mahanna Rashid Al-Naimi (Honda), and Abdulrahman Al-Sheeb will represent Qatar (KTM). The Women's category will be decided by Kuwait's Sarah Khuraibet (Dust Rally Team Husqvarna) and Indian racer Sarah Kashyap (Beta).

Haitham Al-Tuwaijri, last year's quad winner, will compete against Saudi competitors Hani Al-Noumesi, Abdulaziz Al-Atawi, and Sultan Al-Masoud, as well as Emirati AbdulazizAhli for the honors on four wheels.

In collaboration with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) and the Ministry of Sport, the Saudi Motorsport Company manages the Baja. The event is being organized by H.R.H.

The weekend weather forecast calls for dry, bright skies with cool afternoon temperatures in the deserts surrounding Hail. The on-stage schedule kicks off with a three-kilometer Qualifying Stage on Thursday (February 2nd) afternoon, following the traditional ceremonial start adjacent to the Maghwat conference venue.

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