Tokyo, Dec 10 (IANS) Honda have announced their team for the 2022 Dakar Rally, Round 1 of the FIM 1 World Rally-Raid Championship, beginning on January 2, next year. The 2022 Honda team welcomes Pablo Quintanilla, who will join Ricky Brabec, José Ignacio Cornejo, and Joan Barreda to defend the Dakar title once again.
The Dakar Rally, first held in 1979, is known as the world’s most gruelling motorsports event. In 2020, the venue was moved from South America to Saudi Arabia. In 2022, the Dakar Rally will be held as the opening round of the inaugural FIM World Rally-Raid Championship.
“We were very close to achieving another win in 2021. Unfortunately, two major setbacks haunted us the whole rally in doing so. This year, in preparation for 2022, we know where to start training and we know how to progressively train,” said rider Ricky Brabec.
“Obviously, the main goal is the Dakar for any Honda rider. We have four really good, strong, confident riders. Unfortunately, I want to win, but so do the other three. If one Honda wins, or two, or three, or, just one gets on the podium — it’s a team effort and a team win. So as a whole, that’s our main goal, to win the Dakar again,” he added.
Honda began their participation in the third Paris Dakar Rally in 1981. After winning the event in 1986 on an NXR750, Honda went on to win the next three years, a release said. After withdrawing from the event in 1990, Honda returned in 2013 with the CRF450 RALLY to the Dakar Rally which was being held in South America. In 2020, Honda won for the first time since its return to the event and also won the following year.
“I tried to do a good job throughout the whole season. We started the year with the Andalucian Rally and we did a good job. We were also racing close to my house in Baja, Spain. It was a great rally and I showed some good speed. It was good training to do all that work. This year we worked a lot especially on the second week of the Dakar,” said Joan Barreda.
“It’s a long race — different from the other rallies. I think we work well. We are trying to be in good physical and mental condition. We are trying to take care of all the small details. With all this together, with a really good bike and a great team, we are sure we can do a good job,” he added.