MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM READYING FOR 2017 DAKAR RALLY ATTACK
The eve of the prestigious EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy allowed HRC and their Monster Energy Honda Team to steal a headline march on the 2016 gathering by unveiling the colours, riders and machinery that will tackle the famous Dakar Rally at the beginning of January.
Joan Barreda heads a cosmopolitan line-up with Paolo Gonçalves, Michael Metge (one of the few top flight Americans as part of the Dakar scene), Ricky Brabec and Kevin Benavides posing alongside the shimmering factory CRF450 Rally in front of a vast international media and industry gathering as well as other leading lights from HRC's roster like Tim Gajser, Toni Bou and Marc Marquez. The trio will lead Honda's determined plight to wrestle the Dakar motorcycling title from the hands of perennial winners and defending champions KTM in 2017 in what is the company's third year of full 'works' dedication to the world's most famous rally and arguably one of the most renowned occurrences of the entire global motorsport calendar.
"We're really proud to start this collaboration with Monster Energy for the Dakar Project; the toughest race in the world," said Tetsuhiro Kuwata, Honda Racing Corporation Director and General Manager. "This partnership will help and strengthen the team in its goal: to conquer the Dakar Rally".
The race moves and snakes through some of the most diverse and stunningly picturesque topography in South America, and ploughs across three countries in two weeks. The meeting has been hosted in the Americas for eight years now since shifting from the original west African setting due to security concerns and from where the Rally originated back in 1979. The 2017 incarnation will kick off in Asuncion on January 2nd and close in Buenos Aires.
The union of Monster Energy with the biggest and most powerful motorcycle manufacturer bodes well for an impactful showing across the mountains and sands of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina and then through the rally competition season in 2017. In a matter of weeks the entire crew and HRC infrastructure will begin the infiltration period to set up near the Paraguay border and commence the frenetic run for glory and an authentic battle of energy, navigation, endurance and will to finish first after 9000km of action.