Just two years ago, Amine Echiguer has made a splash in the rally racing scene becoming the first Moroccan rider to win the Rallye du Maroc Enduro Cup title. Coming from a motocross background, Amine says he fell in love with the concept of rally racing during the pandemic when, unable to travel to the MX races, he simply rode his bike around Morocco realizing just how much this country had to offer. The idea of long distances cross-country stuck, and in 2021, Amine entered his first rally… and won Rallye du Maroc in the Enduro Cup category despite fighting against professional teams with million-dollar budgets.
Ever since, Amine has raced several other rallies including the 2022 Andalucia Rally which earned him the FIM World Cup title in the Rallye 3 class. A massive achievement for a rally rookie – but Amine has his sights set even higher.
Amine, what was the Andalucia Rally experience like?
Tough. Last year, I had to manage many problems – injuries, sicknesses – and races at the same time. I learned so much, though, and I’m really happy to start a new season with all this knowledge and experience.
Andalucia Rally was very different from the desert races I know. The tracks were narrow and slippery, some of them in the mountains. For me, this was completely new, and I needed some time to get comfortable with it.
On the other hand, the energy on the track with Spanish rally fans was amazing. It was like a WRC rally race: the Spanish public is awesome, and you can really feel they love their motorsports. In Morocco, there’d never be crowds of fans along the tracks, so for me, it was something crazy and really encouraging.
Winning this title in Spain was really symbolic for me and my country. It is the first-ever World Cup for Morocco in any mechanical sport, and for the first time, I feel that I did something that really counts for my country.
– You’ve come a long way from starting rally racing to winning Rallye du Maroc, doing well at Andalucia Rally, and claiming the World Cup title in just three years. What’s your secret? How have you been training?
Honestly, my only secret is that I never get bored of riding my bike. If I can ride every day of the week, I’m happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s sand, motocross, trial, enduro, or desert – I just want to be on the bike.
– Which bikes do you favor for rally racing?
I currently own a KTM 450 which I use for most races. I dream of having a KTM Rallye Replica, but it’s so expensive… Then again, my KTM is nimble, it has a strong engine, the bike is reliable, and with a few mods, it’s a fast bike. One of my favorite mods is the rally footpegs – in a rally, you need to save your energy, and the wider footpegs help me do that. I can ride comfortably and I don’t get tired.
– What are your rally racing plans for 2023?
2023 is a good year for rally races in Morocco because all the races that were canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic are now back.
I already raced the Mhamid Express, a really nice and cheap rallye, this January. Next up, I have the Carta Rallye and the Morocco Desert Challenge. In October, I’m racing Rallye du Maroc and finally, the Africa Eco race in December. I’m really excited about it!
Curious to watch Amine Echiguer progress during this year’s rally season? Follow him on Instagram to stay in the loop!