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Old 12-20-2012, 01:24 AM   #1021
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Any replacement would have to be a rider already registered. Quite frankly, if they are not already planning to race Dakar, why would Honda even take a chance? Putting their eggs in the Helder basket is a bit of a risky move as well as we saw in Morocco, but the earlier statement that the team is too new and not mature enough to absorb a new rider or two so late in the game does make sense. It seems to me that someone like Chavo Salvatierra or Chaleco could adjust quite quickly. Both are already entered and are fit and ready for Dakar.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:15 AM   #1022
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http://world.honda.com/Dakar/lpl_interview/02/
http://world.honda.com/news/2012/c12...ex.html?from=r

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Old 12-20-2012, 08:35 AM   #1023
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Confirmed

Honda Competes in the 2013 Dakar Rally with 3 Riders
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TOKYO, Japan, December 20, 2012 - Honda has announced that it will participate in the motorcycle class in the Dakar Rally to be held in January 2013 in South America, with three riders in its works team "TEAM HRC."

Honda previously announced its participation with five riders in October. However, Felipe Zanol (Brazil) and Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) crashed and were injured while pre-Dakar tests that were carried out in Mojave Desert in the United States in early December. As a result of their injuries, both riders will not be able to attend the 2013 competition. TEAM HRC will compete with three riders, Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Javier Pizzolito (Argentina) and Johnny Campbell (USA).

"Felipe Zanol and Sam Sunderland have been part of the program since the foundation of TEAM HRC and have participated in all testing and the Morocco Rally. They both gave us valuable advice on how to improve the competition machine. Unfortunately, they will miss the final event but I believe they are still part of the team. As our team ethic is a big part of our strength, we will continue with our goal of winning the Dakar."

Katsumi Yamazaki
LPL, Dakar Rally TEAM HRC,
Development Department No.1, Motorcycle R&D Center,
Honda R&D Co., Ltd.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #1024
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I wonder if Johnny and Javier will be upgraded to the "good" bike....
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:43 AM   #1025
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I wonder if Johnny and Javier will be upgraded to the "good" bike....
All 3 will be running the latest generation bikes. None on the Team Honda Europe version as in Morocco.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:48 AM   #1026
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Hope Helder has a fast, clean run. Not having a reliable top ten water carrier.....go Helder
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #1027
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well expectations for HRC sure are high

I am hoping they can push the KTM boys and give them a real challenge,
we know Helder is magic smooth on the bike and is the only one who can really keep pace with the two aliens for the duration of the event, but I hope his equipment is good enough and he has the luck he needs for this.

With the Sam and Felipe out it will be next to impossible for the rest of the team to apply the necessary pressure on the front of the pack.

I am not expecting a win, but I am hoping for a finish of at least one bike that has made an impact on the times in the top 5. After all Helder has done this on his own out a van before. If the stars align on all other variables he should be able to to accomplish at least that. I know he is in it to win it but I just don't want him to bin it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #1028
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Originally Posted by ArthDuro View Post
well expectations for HRC sure are high

I am not expecting a win, but I am hoping for a finish of at least one bike that has made an impact on the times in the top 5. After all Helder has done this on his own out a van before. If the stars align on all other variables he should be able to to accomplish at least that. I know he is in it to win it but I just don't want him to bin it.
Well if Coma is out then for me Helder is up for it, but he always has been

The last years' he has been on his own, but he now has serious support and a well supported bike - he may only be 2nd favourite ( or 3rd if Coma is in) but my money is on him - wait and see
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #1029
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So is the outcome that there will only be the 3 HRC 450's ?

The original press release indicated that the 450 Rally would be available for other compeditors who wanted to ride Honda.

Is looks like that was not the case.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:26 PM   #1030
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So is the outcome that there will only be the 3 HRC 450's ?

The original press release indicated that the 450 Rally would be available for other compeditors who wanted to ride Honda.

Is looks like that was not the case.
In the future there is slated to be a customer version. In the latest interview, Katsumi Yamakazi stated the bike was only 70% completed in Morocco. I suspect they are closer to 100% but would only offer a customer bike once the development specs are hashed out completely.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:58 PM   #1031
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Originally Posted by doyle View Post
In the future there is slated to be a customer version. In the latest interview, Katsumi Yamakazi stated the bike was only 70% completed in Morocco. I suspect they are closer to 100% but would only offer a customer bike once the development specs are hashed out completely.
^^^ This

They have been flat out getting the spec for 5 (factory) bikes dialled in for January...

I would expect that some more tweaking/refinement after DAKAR (maybe the first few rounds of the FIA CCR championship events) and then by mid year/end of the euro summer (sept.) a customer spec. version available for purchase in time for testing and decal duty (maybe an outing in the hands of some privateers by the time Pharoahs/Maroc rallye comes around?), and then all systems go, ready for Dakar 2014...?
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #1032
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Hope Helder has a fast, clean run. Not having a reliable top ten water carrier.....go Helder
I hope Johnny Campbell doesn't see that
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:40 PM   #1033
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Hope Helder has a fast, clean run. Not having a reliable top ten water carrier.....go Helder
Don't count out Campbell too soon. He may not be an "Alien" but has plenty of high speed dez miles under his belt as well as Dakar navigation experience co-driving with Robby G. He is a smart, talented RACER who knows how to win. Also if he has Eric Siraton working on his bike there is no doubt it will make it too the end .
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:56 PM   #1034
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Don't count out Campbell too soon. He may not be an "Alien" but has plenty of high speed dez miles under his belt as well as Dakar navigation experience co-driving with Robby G. He is a smart, talented RACER who knows how to win. Also if he has Eric Siraton working on his bike there is no doubt it will make it too the end .
Don't forget he has raced the Dakar before and had a pretty high finish... But that was in 01 (I think)...

Edit, it was 01, and he got 8th on a XR650, but I would be surprised to see him in the top 20 this year.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:44 PM   #1035
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In the future there is slated to be a customer version. In the latest interview, Katsumi Yamakazi stated the bike was only 70% completed in Morocco. I suspect they are closer to 100% but would only offer a customer bike once the development specs are hashed out completely.
"this bike generates so much power that it would break immediately if you don't perform proper upkeep and follow a regular maintenance schedule"

Based on this statement by Mr. Yamakazi I get the feeling that anyone who is thinking about putting together a HRC works replica 450X better be ready for a very strict maintenance regime. But even if those going the HRC 450X route in the future decide to forgo the engine hop-ups they will still have a well sorted bike for racing among the amateurs.

"It may be expensive, but riders with more money to spend will be able to purchase a bike with the same specs as our rally machine. That is why we have designed each part to be replaceable. My idea is to offer a cheaper base machine and optional high performance parts for riders who want high performance."

Translated- "2013 Honda CRF450X: $8440, HRC Rally Kit: $32,480, Leaving a KTM in your dust: Priceless. Some things in life money can't buy. For everything else there's Mastercard."
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