It certainly wouldn't be unusual in motorsport to have some shakeup/team jumping in the relatively stagnant (team/rider wise) world that is moto rally. Some feel nothing left to prove. Others have caught up to KTM, like Husqvarna with a comparatively smaller effort and HRC out of the gate. Surely KTM is top of the heap, but others have caught on rather quickly. Maybe a jump to HRC gives CD a bit more of a future as he chases Peterhansel's win record? HRC wants to win and I can imagine that Henk Hellegers and Katsumi Yamazaki are under big pressure to produce results quickly.
Sam and Zanol getting hurt to the point of being out of the race can only be seen as a major failure in Japanese circles regardless of the circumstances. I would expect that the rally arm of HRC has a very small window and are on a very short leash to produce quickly. Put in that position, what would you do? Quiet, reserved Helder who is fast and smooth, but not unquestionably alien in ability or use Helder money to go after the one rider who has proven the best results over the past decade, has name recognition, and is supremely marketable?