The FIM World Rally-Raid Championship is about to kick off for 2022 – and with the Dakar Rally set as the opening event of the inaugural championship, Honda is ready to snatch yet another title for the team.
Ready to ride for the Monster Energy Honda Team is Pablo Quintanilla, along with Ricky Brabec, José Ignacio Cornejo, and Joan Barreda.
Here’s a list of the team, as well as their specs going into this next season:
“I feel really happy and excited to be part of the team,” says Pablo Quintanilla in a report from FinancialExpress.
“For me, it is an honor to be part of the team that already won the Dakar in the last edition. For me, it’s something that I have been searching for all these years. The atmosphere in the team is really nice. The relationship between the riders, the mechanics, and all the people who work here is really nice.”
“It is an honor to be part of the team. For sure I want to win. But the important thing is to improve my skills and pace to have the chance to be able to win. For me, it is important to have a big team behind you. Some things you can prepare for yourself before the race, but the other thing is that you have the correct team, with the correct people and the right bike to make it happen.”
Source: Honda Global
“We were very close to achieving another win in 2021,” adds Brabec.
“Unfortunately two major setbacks haunted us the whole rally in doing so. This year, in preparation for 2022, we know where to start training and we know how to progressively train. I’m looking forward to seeing how it has helped us. Obviously, the main goal is the Dakar for any Honda rider.”
“We have four really good, strong, confident riders. Unfortunately, I want to win, but so do the other three. If one Honda wins, or two, or three, or, just one gets on the podium – it’s a team effort and a team win. So as a whole, that’s our main goal, to win the Dakar again.”
“The real pressure was when I was a privateer,” comments Cornejo.
“I had to try to make it to be a professional. I didn’t have the resources. I’m having fun. I’m living the dream. Racing professionally for HRC. Fighting to win the Dakar Rally – the most important rally in the world. I just don’t feel the pressure…”
“This year we worked a lot especially on the second week of the Dakar,” enthuses Barreda.
“It’s a long race – different from the other rallies. I think we work well. We are trying to be in good physical and mental condition. We are trying to take care of all the small details. With all this together, with a really good bike and a great team, we are sure we can do a good job.”
For those of you who don’t know, the very first Dakar Rally was founded in 1979 and held in Africa/Europe, with the rally’s dangerous and unpredictable challenges quickly earning it the title of “world’s most taxing event for motorists”, according to FinancialExpress.
Honda’s been present for the Dakar Rally since 1981, taking a break between 1990 and 2013, when the team came back to South America with the CRF450 RALLY.
Since then, Honda’s snatched two consecutive wins – 2020 and 2021 – and is keen to keep the score in their playing field.
Source: Honda Global
Wishing the team all the best, and looking forward to the results of the first event held by the 2022 FIM World Rally-Raid series.
In the meantime, be sure to drop a comment – we love hearing from you. Check out other recent news from our archives while you’re here, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.