The Honda works squad “TEAM HRC” has completed its preparations and is ready for its participation in the motorcycle class of the 2014 Dakar Rally – to be held in January 2014 in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Five riders—Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom), Javier Pizzolito (Argentina), Joan Barreda (Spain) and Paulo Goncalves (Portugal)—will ride the new CRF450 RALLY, a rally-racing machine specially developed for the Dakar Rally 2014. TEAM HRC took the CRF450 RALLY for testing and competition to the Morocco Rally 2013 and the Merzouga Rally 2013 this October, which are considered as preludes to the Dakar Rally, scoring victories in both races.
To further popularize rally racing, Honda is planning to market a production model of the CRF450 RALLY in 2014 for teams and individuals who are aspiring to compete. As part of the verification process, Honda will provide a pre-production model of the CRF450 RALLY and on-site technical support to riders Pablo Rodriguez (Argentina), Jean Azevedo (Brazil), and Laia Sanz (Spain), all of whom will race in the Dakar Rally 2014.
Tetsuo Suzuki, Senior Managing Officer and Director,
Chief Operating Officer, Motorcycle R&D Centre, Honda R&D Co., Ltd.,
President, Honda Racing Corporation
“Since our entry in the Dakar Rally 2013 in January, the Motorcycle R&D Centre and HRC have focused on developing an outstanding machine and a winning team. The Dakar Rally 2014 spans more than two weeks, but through this race, we will fight to the finish to share our dreams and excitement with our customers. Next year starting with the Dakar Rally, HRC will boldly move forward to share the excitement of two-wheeled motor sports with our customers worldwide, and we look forward to your continuous support for HRC’s activities.”
Dakar Rally TEAM HRC Director
“Everything was new and we learned much from the Dakar Rally 2013, since the last time we raced in the Dakar was 24 years ago. This year, we put together a winning team in a very short period, carefully considering the machine, riders and crew. We gained confidence that we are on the right track as we won the Morocco and Merzouga rallies on our brand new CRF450 RALLY, and our team will do its best to achieve the ultimate goal, winning the Dakar Rally. We appreciate and hope everyone will cheer us on as the team fights all the way to the chequered flag.”