Team HRC are all fired up and ready to roll, as the first stage of the Rally Dakar kicks off tomorrow. The two official Honda teams; Team HRC, and HSA Rally Team, set out their intentions today in a press conference in Buenos Aires presided over by HRC vice-chairman Shuhei Nakamoto. 

The team’s action-hungry riders, after having to sit through yesterday’s tedious administrative and technical checks, were back for a press conference held today, on the eve of the big challenge, where the Honda teams stated their determined intention to pursue final victory in the Rally Dakar 2015.

Team HRC riders, Joan Barreda, Paulo Gonçalves, Hélder Rodrigues, Jeremías Israel and Laia Sanz, together with those of Honda South America Rally Team, Javier Pizzolito, Jean Azevedo, Daniel Gouet, Javier Rodríguez and Demian Guiral, all agreed on the reliability, stability and power of the Honda CRF450 RALLY, which will allow the riders to be amongst the front-runners throughout the stages.

Mr. Shuei Nakamoto, HRC vice-chairman was in attendance, and wished the Honda team riders every success in their endeavour: “I hope that the team gets great results, and especially, the win, although I don’t want to put pressure on them to do so. Anything can happen in the race, we already know that. The team, made up of all the riders, the team members and the bike, are all ready to take on the challenge. I am also very proud of all the work that has been done on the bike.”

In the afternoon, the Dakar 2015 participants took part in the symbolic start from the podium situated in front of the Argentine Parliament building in Casa Rosada. The riders were cheered on by thousands of spectators who lined the Buenos Aires streets.


STAGE 1 – Sunday 4th January
Buenos Aires (ARG) – Villa Carlos Paz (ARG)

Liaison: 663 km
Special stage: 175 km

A huge preliminary stage!
It will be a very early start for the racing tomorrow, Sunday 4th, as the riders set off at 05:15 to complete a 225 kilometre liaison before the timed 175 km special begins in Baradero, to the northeast of Buenos Aires. The bivouac is set up in Villa Carlos Paz.
The competitors will be rapidly plunged into the heart of the Argentinean countryside. The combination of the route’s different features means that there will be something for everyone, while sticking to relatively simple criteria, for the time being. Fast tracks coupled with sharp bends will divide up the vehicles, according to the levels of the drivers, who will be tested in an exciting environment which marks this first special stage, but without singling out any particular category. At the end of this warm-up, the day will finish with a long liaison to the first bivouac.



Joan Barreda

Everything is great after a whole year of hard work. The hour of truth is upon us, and everything is all set. We’ll start off taking it easy in the first, short stage, but in the second we will have to start pushing for positions and try and stay ahead. From then on, we’ll take it day by day, see how the race plays out, and try and stay as focused as possible and avoid messing up. The aim is to establish positions for the second week which give us race-winning options.  

Paulo Goncalves

We are all ready for the start of the new Dakar 2015 and let’s hope that it goes really well. Team HRC have worked really hard for this race, and we are very motivated. Everyone is eager to start the race, so hopefully it will go really well and bring into fruition all the work that we’ve put in. We have a highly-evolved bike which will give us guarantees, and a lot of confidence to face the race. 

Helder Rodrigues

This will be my third Dakar with Honda, on a project that has continually evolved since the first day. My aim will be to win, and that Honda finishes as high as possible on the final podium. The team has worked so hard, and the objective is very clear; that Honda has to win. I’m here to fight for the victory.  

Jeremias Israel

I’m really pleased to be back in my third participation in the Dakar. It has been a very tough year for me, to recuperate and be ready for the start of the race. It is a tremendous opportunity, especially to be part of the Honda team with HRC behind us, who have given us the chance to get back on the track with an even better bike that has every chance of winning.  

Laia Sanz

I can’t wait to get onto the Honda CRF450 RALLY after all the endless preparation that we’ve done. I think I’ve arrived here in better shape than ever and I have to thank Honda and HRC for giving me such a great opportunity. It’s a fine team and a great bike. I will try and return all the faith that HRC has placed in me. I’m really looking forward to this project.

Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 Presentation

Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 Shakedown 'Behind the Scenes'

Location Information

The greatest and toughest rally in the world, the Dakar’s history has been written in the heart of some of the world’s most stunning deserts and belongs to the world of the greatest sporting challenges of our time. Both a motor race and an orienteering challenge, the Dakar Rally pits… read more.

Lima, Perú - View in Google Maps