Johnny Campbell and his Team HRC teammates are ready for the challenge of the Dakar Rally with the race scheduled to get started tomorrow in Lima, Peru.

Team HRC was among the firsts to pass successfully the technical and administrative scrutineering checks with the team of 36 members ready to get started.

Honda has won the Dakar Rally five times with its last win coming in 1989.

Team HRC will compete the 35th edition of the Dakar with Portuguese Helder Rodrigues, Argentinian Javier Pizzolito and Campbell. The team was expected to be five-strong, but Brazilian Felipe Zanol and Brit Sam Sunderland suffered injuries during the last pre-Dakar test, which took place in the Mojave Desert in California at the beginning of December. While the two injured riders continue their recovery, the team is very motivated to tackle the world's toughest off-road competition.

Helder Rodrigues:
"I feel well and I'm very motivated to do a great race for Honda and the team. We have been working very hard and the machine has made a huge progress in just six months of work. Compared to Morocco, my CRF 450 Rally has improved a lot in terms of engine power, suspensions and chassis. I'm focused on my race and after two podium finishes in the last two Dakar editions my target is to improve my result."

Javier Pizzolito: "I'm very happy with the machine, on the 1st of January we did the final shakedown of the bike and the last specs we used in the U.S. tests worked very well in Peru. I was impressed by the logistics and the organization of the team. The atmosphere in the team is very good and I hope we can have a good Dakar as a team. This is my fourth Dakar and I'm very motivated. I will help Helder to fight for the first position and I will try to put my CRF 450Rally as much on top of the standing as possible."

Johnny Campbell: "I have tested the bike a lot since the last U.S. test, the machine has made a good progress as a whole package [chassis, engine, suspension] and I'm very comfortable with my CRF 450Rally. I'm focused and excited to be part of Team HRC on this important project."

Katsumi Yamzaki: "After the Morocco Rally, where the machine was at 70 percent of development, we focused on getting more power and having a good durability. We made a lot of modifications to the aerodynamics and many other details in order to improve the machine drivability but also engine power. Now the machine is ready to compete on the Dakar rally and we are all very excited with this new adventure. Unfortunately Felipe and Sam won't be able to compete due to the injures in the last U.S. test, but they are part of the team and we will tackle the Dakar as a team with Helder, Javier and Johnny supported by an experienced staff made of 36 people also for them. Team work is the key for such a long and demanding Rally and we will fight for the win."

By Cycle News Staff

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