Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced from the Aoyama Head offices, in Tokyo, its 2014 motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports with Cross-Country Rallies one of the key categories.
In his annual global motorsports address today, which outlined all of Hondaâ€™s factory motorsport programmes for 2014, Honda President Takanobu Ito announced that Honda is determined to raise the commitment to the Rally Team.
Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) will be active not only in top-level racing of this caliber but also in the promotion of commercially available racing machines. HRC plans to launch the CRF450 Rally from the Dakar by the end of this year. Through these actions, Honda aims to provide equivalent machines or near-twins of its factory team machines to more and more customers, as part of its efforts to further expand the popularity of motorcycle racing.
The Team HRC factory team competed in the Dakar 2014 Argentina-Bolivia-Chile this January. Three of the five team riders arrived to the end of the toughest and most challenging off-road race in the World: Helder Rodrigues finished in 5th place, Joan Barreda in 7th place, and Javier Pizzolito in 23rd. Team HRC won 6 of the 13 stages of the race. For the 2015 rally, Hondaâ€™s racing strategy including its riders will be announced as soon as it is determined.
Barreda and Rodrigues were present in Tokyo, appearing alongside Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa (MotoGP), Evgeni Bobryshev and Max Nagl (Motocross) and other Honda riders from different Japanese championships and drivers from IndyCar and World Touring Car Championships.