Dakar Team HRC at EICMA
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Team HRC is ready to bring Honda its first Dakar victory in over two decades with the new CRF450 Rally.
We’re less than two months away from the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America, and all eyes are on Honda and Team HRC
as they return to contest the mammoth event for the first time in 23 years. Through the 1980’s Honda grabbed five victories in the Paris-Dakar out of nine attempts and have since enjoyed significant win streaks in other long-distance off-road races, most notably the Baja 1000
During Summer 2012, Honda announced the development of the CRF450 Rally
and by early October had unveiled the bike to the world at the Intermot show in Germany. The first test for both team and bike came in the Rally of Morocco
in late October where HRC proved they were well equipped to run with the big dogs. It didn’t hurt that the likes of Helder Rodrigues, Felipe Zanol, Sam Sunderland, Johnny Campbell and Javier Pizzolito piloted the 450 Rally through the Moroccan desert either.
Preparations continue, though Rodrigues and Sunderland were given a bit of a break to attend the opening days of the EICMA
show in Milan. Hob-knobbing with press, fans and industry reps seems to have generated a renewed energy in the two riders, both of whom will be vital to Team HRC’s chances at a Dakar win in January.
“It was very exciting to stand next to my CFR450 Rally bike in front of 700 journalists and Honda dealers during Honda's pan-European press conference in Milan on Monday evening,” said Rodrigues. “I also enjoyed EICMA. After having met journalists from all over the world, now it’s time to continue the preparation for the Dakar. I’m training every day, in the gym and on the bike."
Sunderland added, “It was very interesting to spend these few days at EICMA show, with the press conference and release of some great new Honda products and some interviews with press from all over the world, even Russia! And me and Helder were part of a live TV show, all in Italian. I look forward to the start of Dakar 2013 on 5 January. Thank you to Honda for inviting me and to be a part of this exciting project.”
In addition to spreading the word about the CRF450 Rally at EICMA, Team HRC has also compiled a highlight reel from the Rally of Morocco so fans and detractors alike can see the red-beast in action. Check out the CRF450 Rally shredding dunes and flying over the barren desert of Morocco in the video below, provided by Team HRC via YouTube.
Follow Byron Wilson on Google+