The Dakar Rally
The waiting is over. On July 2nd, Honda announced what the 187,000 Honda associates across the world and all the cross country rally fans had been waiting for for 24 years: the return of the Honda HRC works team to compete in the Dakar, the toughest Rally in the world.
Three months later, on October 2nd the new CRF 450 RALLY model was unveiled at the 2012 International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bike Fair in Cologne, Germany.
After having competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the Paris-Dakar Rally, from 1981 to 1989, and having scored 4 consecutive titles for an overall record of 5 victories in 9 years, Honda returns to the Cross Country rally competitions with a new machine, the CRF 450 RALLY, a racing machine based on the CRF450X, and a strong line-up of 5 riders: the Portuguese Helder Rodrigues, the Brazilian Felipe Zanol, the Brit Sam Sunderland, the American Johnny Campbell and the Argentinian Javier Pizzolito.
TEAM HRC will make its debut in the Morocco Rally, the perfect place to see the whole team together and do the shakedown of the bikes. Already from the entry list, it’s clear that the Morocco Rally will be a sort of mini Dakar, as all the important teams are represented. The Rally opened officially today with the technical and administration checks.
The first Leg will start tomorrow, Monday the 15th from Erfoud. The 55 competitors in the bike category will complete a loop of 271 km of special stage that will bring them back to the bivouac based in Erfoud for the first 2 days. Then from Leg 3 the circus will move direction Zagora, always in the south of Morocco, where the rally will take place from the 15th to the 20th of October, 6 Legs for a total 2074 km (1544 km of selective sectors).
Arrived in Morocco on the 11th, TEAM HRC carried out two days of testing on the dunes of Merzouga, for a first shakedown of the machines before the start of the Rally.