Bradley Cox and Romain Dumontier finished third and first, respectively, in the 2023 FIM Rally-Raid World Cup in the Rally 2 class, the last rung on the ladder before Rally GP. The South African and the Frenchman make no secret of their common ambition in this edition of the Dakar: to show their faces in the top 10 of each stage to try and catch the eye of a factory team. Alfie Cox's son, victorious in the last two Rally 2 rounds in 2023, finished the special in fourth place, within two minutes of the overall podium. "Dudu", sixth today, is less than a minute behind his new arch-rival for the championship. The two Rally 2 riders outperformed as many as thirteen of the sixteen factory riders still in the Dakar. The Rally 2 scene is gaining depth. Take Mason Klein: a veteran of the Rally 2 class, which he won in 2022, he is now standing on the provisional podium of the Dakar.