Honda Previews Dakar in Comic Form
Friday, December 27, 2013
Honda has previewed its forthcoming 2014 Dakar Rally
effort in novel form, narrating the HRC project in comic strip fashion. A past three-time winner of the Paris to Dakar Rally, Honda has long ago yielded Dakar supremacy to the factory KTM team - which currently enjoys more than a decade-long domination of the race, most recently with factory riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres. The situation has changed, however, with Despres leaving KTM to spearhead the Yamaha entry in 2014.
Honda has also thrown its might behind the factory Team HRC and a massive five-rider effort
. The squad will be led by Portuguese riders Helder Rodrigues and Paulo Goncalves, along with Spaniard Joan Barreda. Rodrigues is a two-time Dakar podium finisher, with six stage wins to his credit. Goncalves is a former stage winner as well, and only missed the 2012 Dakar rostrum because of a 6-hour timing penalty. He has shown great promise for this year's race, having placed runner up in the 2013 Abu Dhabi and Qatar rallies. As for Barreda, the 2014 Dakar will be his fourth campaign. He placed 17th last year, but the overall result is misleading as bike issues kept him from running up front - demonstrated by an impressive four stage wins last year. Rounding out the HRC squad is Argentinian Javier Pizolito and Englishman Sam Sunderland.
The HRC riders will campaign the CRF450 Rally, the prototype of which competed in last year's race. Honda's development of the CRF450 Rally and Dakar project has been illustrated in comic strip fashion. Titled "The Road to Dakar Chapter I" the story is a wonderful glimpse into Honda's business culture, and the importance of racing. Make sure to check out the full strip by clicking on the sample picture below, or visiting: world.honda.com/Dakar/road-to-Dakar
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