After the six-kilometre Prologue and day one of racing over a 302km selective section, Mohammed Al-Balooshi (KTM) placed himself at the top of the provisional results with a 4min 10sec advantage over his rival Abdullah Al-Shatti.
For the second day of this Baja that was fought out across the Saudi desert, that lead was enough for Al-Balooshi to control Al-Shatti and seal a fourth victory in Hail since 2020 on the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup. In the quad category, Haitham Al-Tuwaijri earned his third consecutive win.
On Saturday, Al-Balooshi finished the second 164km special 4min 34sec behind the Saudi rider Saudi Abdulhalim Al-Mogheera but finished the event 2min 12sec ahead of his team-mate Al-Shatti on the second of the Team MX Ride Dubai bikes.
Al-Mogheera won the second stage and that enabled him to finish third overall ahead of Emirati Hamdan Al-Ali.
At the finish, Al-Balooshi said: “I am very happy to win this rally for the fourth time. I have a perfect record here in Saudi. I have never lost the Saudi Baja. Today was very tricky. It was an easy stage but so simple to make a stupid mistake. Our strategy was to bring the bike to the finish line and secure the win. Thanks to this I’m leading the FIM Bajas World Cup standings.”
The Jordanian Abdullah Abu Aisheh lost vital minutes on the last stage and slipped to sixth place behind the Portuguese Pedro Bianchi Prata, who won the Veteran category.
Bahrain’s Salman Farhan was eighth followed by Australian Martin Chalmers and his compatriot Andrew Houlihan.
Haitham Al-Tuwaijri sealed his third successive victory in the quad category in Hail. The Yamaha Raptor 700 rider finished the race 1hr 05min 25sec ahead of Hani Al-Noumesi and pocketed maximum points in the FIM Bajas World Cup. Abdulaziz Sulaman finished third.
FIM Motorcycles - General Ranking:
1.Al-Balooshi (KTM) 7hr 00min 22sec
2. Al-Shatti (Husqvarna) @2min 12sec
3. Al-Mogheera (KTM) @13min 07sec
4. Al-Ali (Husqvarna) @ 16min 50sec
5. Bianchi Prata (Honda) @36min 51sec
FIM Quads - General Ranking:
1.Al-Tuwaijri (Yamaha) 7hr 39min 15sec
2. Al-Noumesi (Yamaha) @ 1hr 05min 25sec
3. Sulaman (Yamaha) @ 1hr 26min 25sec