Team HRC is all set with their new four riders to once again participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally. Riders Helder Rodrigues, Felipe Zanol, Sam Sunderland and Javier Pizzolito will be the four chosen riders each of whom will be seen on a new prototype race bike.
The new course from Peru to Chile and on to Argentina will see Team HRC in action as they return to Rally racing after a gap of 23 years. Honda has competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the forerunner of Dakar Rally from 1981 to 1989 and was successful five times during this 9 year period.
The Dakar Rally will be held in January 2012 in South America. Honda will be participating on machined developed and produced by Motorcycle R&D Centre at Honda R&D and will be based on CRF450X.
Speaking about this upcoming performance after a long gap, Tetsuo Suzuki, President of Honda Racing Corporation said that the competitors will have to traverse many miles per day over a two week period. This required a vehicle different from what is used in regular motocross, trials and road races. The CRF 450X will meet these demanding standards due to its powerful capabilities which will surely get Honda riders a top place in the championships.
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Honda to participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally
July 2, 2012 – Honda has announced its intention to participate as a works team in the motorcycle class in the Dakar Rally to be held in January 2013 in South America, travelling north to south through Peru, Chile and Argentina. Honda competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally, from 1981 through to 1989, and was a winner five times during that period. It has been 23 years since it last participated in the Rally.
The Honda team, to be called Team HRC, will include Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues, who took third place in the 2012 Dakar Rally, and Brazilian Felipe Zanol, who brings a wealth of experience in motocross and enduro race events, as well as Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina). They will ride a prototype machine developed and produced by the Motorcycle R&D Center at Honda R&D. The prototype machine is based on the CRF450X, the popular worldwide enduro racing model that combines ease of handling with superior competitive strength. Kit parts designed for use on the standard CRF450X model have also been developed and will be made available to a limited number of teams.
Tetsuo Suzuki, President, Honda Racing Corporation, commented “The Dakar requires competitors to cover several hundred kilometers per day for more than two weeks. It needs a totally different type of vehicle from events such as motocross, trials and road races. Honda has put a great deal of effort into designing and building a powerful and winning machine. We are aiming for the championship from this first year.”