December 10, 2021 - Honda will participate in the 2022 Dakar Rally, Round 1 of the FIM*1 World Rally-Raid Championship beginning on January 2, 2022, with its factory team*2, Monster Energy Honda Team, aiming to win the Motorcycle division for the third consecutive year.
The 2022 Monster Energy Honda Team welcomes Pablo Quintanilla who will join Ricky Brabec, José Ignacio Cornejo, and Joan Barreda to defend the Dakar title once again. The team looks forward to continued support from its fans.
*1 FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2 Factory team: Racing team managed by the bike manufacturer. For Honda, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) manages its factory teams.
José Ignacio Cornejo
■ Ricky Brabec | Monster Energy Honda Team
“We were very close to achieving another win in 2021. 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.”
■ Pablo Quintanilla | Monster Energy Honda Team
“I feel really happy and excited to be part of the team. 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. I want to win. I will prepare for the victory. I will do my best as always. I will give it 100% every day and every stage. I hope and I wish this dream comes true.”
■ José Ignacio Cornejo | Monster Energy Honda Team
“The real pressure was when I was a privateer. 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. The pandemic? We thought that we would have more races, but some of them were cancelled or postponed, so it’s still not a normal year. It was better than last year. I’ve been able to do some testing and some normal training and some races with the team. Last year we just did one before the Dakar. It was better than last year for sure.”
■ Joan Barreda | Monster Energy Honda Team
“I tried to do a good job throughout the whole season. We started the year with the Andalucian Rally and we did a good job. We were also racing close to my house in Baja, Spain. It was a great rally and I showed some good speed. It was good training to do all that work. This year we worked a lot especially on the second week of the Dakar. 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.”
■ Dakar Rally 2022
||José Ignacio Cornejo
The Dakar Rally, first held in 1979, is known as the world’s most gruelling motorsports event. In 2020 the venue was moved from South America to Saudi Arabia. In 2022, the Dakar Rally will be held as the opening round of the inaugural FIM World Rally-Raid Championship.
Honda began its participation since the third Paris Dakar Rally in 1981. After winning the event in 1986 on an NXR750, Honda went on to win the next three years. After withdrawing from the event in 1990, Honda returned in 2013 with the CRF450 RALLY to the Dakar Rally which was being held in South America. In 2020, Honda won for the first time since its return to the event, and also won the following year.