Team HRC wheel out the big guns for the Desafío Ruta 40
Team HRC Rally head off to participate in the second event of the season after the Merzouga Rally: the Desafío Ruta 40, scheduled from Sunday, June 19 until Thursday, June 23 in Argentina.
pictures © Rallymaniacs
Joan Barreda, Paulo Gonçalves and Michael Metge, along with Argentinean Kevin Benavides will be the riders who line up for Team HRC, as the rally season gets underway with the Desafío Ruta 40.
This will be the first time in 2016 that Barreda, Gonçalves and Metge get to do the Team HRC livery together since the Dakar finished in January. After some testing with the team, the time has arrived to get some serious competition mileage under the belt and begin to set up the Honda CRF450 RALLY prior to rally’s blue riband event next year: the Dakar 2017.
Local boy Benavides is already on cracking form after winning the Merzouga Rally and participating in the third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in Sardinia. The rally on the Italian island saw the rider take sixth place after a hard learning experience with two weeks of particularly tough navigation. Benavides will be sporting the number one on the fairing of his CRF450 RALLY.
The race gets underway in San Rafael on the 19th once the technical and administrative tests are out of the way on the 17th. The rally winds up in Rioja after covering some 2887 kilometres, 1748 of which will be timed special stages.
Martino Bianchi (Team HRC General Manager)
''The Desafío Ruta 40 forms a part of the race calendar for Team HRC Rally in preparation for the Dakar for various different reasons: the month of June is a particularly important one to test out all the latest changes that have been incorporated into our Honda CRF450 RALLY; but also because some of the track used in the Ruta 40 is likely to form part of the route in the Dakar 2017. Finally, it will be a great opportunity to test out our riders, as we have practically the whole team assembled for the Ruta 40. This will be an important test for HRC and we shall be giving it very special attention.''
Roberto Boasso (Team Manager)
"Everything is going great in Argentina. The whole team and the machines have arrived for the Ruta 40. Everyone is here: the riders, the mechanics, and the technical crew; the bikes are prepared and the logistics, together with MEC Team, who we wish to thank for their great hospitality. This rally will serve to find some new solutions for the bikes, but also for testing too. The team is working very well, especially the mechanics, who have been working really hard to have the machines all ready with the changes that we want to try out. We can’t wait for the race to get started.''