TOKYO, Japan, December 20, 2013 - Honda will participate in the motorcycle class in the 2014 Dakar Rally - Argentina, Bolivia, Chile to be held in January 2014 with its works team "TEAM HRC."
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 the preludes to the Dakar Rally. The team scored victories in both races.
In order to further popularize rally racing, Honda is planning to market the 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.
"Since our entry in the Dakar Rally 2013 in January, the Motorcycle R&D Center 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."
"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 once again make sure that we are on the right track since 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 checkered flag."