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Team Honda: Dakar Testing in Tunisia

2011 Dakar

Team Honda Europe was busy testing in Tunisia this week, as the team readies its motorcycles and riders for the infamous 2011 Dakar.

Both the Dakar drivers and materials were tested with positive results; the motorcycles where tweaked and adjusted to the specific needs of each rider. The new kits needed to enhance the motorcycles for Dakar proved to be reliable and well balanced for the Honda CRF 450 Dakar.

Mirjam Pol (Team Honda Europe) says: “Our new bike, with the new developed kit, is easier to handle and drives like an enduro bike. It is six kilograms lighter! Aside from the performance advantage, after a long day on your bike when you have been stuck for twenty times or fallen of your bike, that six kilograms makes a big difference.”

Team Honda Europe is aiming high with the American rider Quinn Cody. In America the 34-year-old Quinn is a professional rider for Johnny Campbell Racing.

He is familiar with competing in Desert races and Baja’s. Another remarkable highlight is finishing the grueling Erzberg Rodeo.

From the 1500 started contestants, only 35 that made it to the finish line. One of them was Quinn.

HT Rally Raid and Quinn where already in contact last year to look at the possibilities of racing the Dakar with Team Honda Europe.

This year the plan came to fruition. Quinn is both an experienced rider and a youngster in Dakar terms, aged only 34. This is his first Dakar and the expectations are high. Quinn firmly believes he can can run at the front and challenge for stage wins.

Who knows what else could happen but a victory in his very first Dakar would be a remarkable achievement.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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