Monster Energy Honda Team 2021, adorning the number 1
The biggest novelty at the official presentation of the 2021 Monster Energy Honda Team was not so much the riders, but rather, the image of the Honda CRF450 RALLY itself, which is set to tackle the forthcoming Dakar Rally with the number 1 emblazoned on the fairings.
Monster Energy Honda Team, hoping to retain the title claimed by American Ricky Brabec last year, was officially presented today by means of a worldwide event held on Global Honda Racing’s social networks. Ricky Brabec, José Ignacio Cornejo, Kevin Benavides and Joan Barreda will be the four official Monster Energy Honda Team riders to take part. All four finished the last edition of the Dakar, as Brabec made history, not only by clinching the overall victory, but also becoming the first American rider to win the prestigious rally.
Ricky Brabec’s Honda CRF450 RALLY will display the number 1 on its fairing, with the reigning champ lining up alongside three other fine riders. Chilean José Ignacio Cornejo (#4), fourth last year, will be an asset, having shown great ability to adapt to the Saudi Arabian territory. Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides (#47), runner-up in 2018, is another rider likely to aspire to victory. This year he arrives fresh off the back of a win at the Andalucía Rally. Joan Barreda (#88), needs little introduction; by now a fully-fledged Dakar legend with some eleven Dakar participations to boot, and currently the rider holding the highest number of stage wins: 24.
The team wishes to take the opportunity to welcome three new sponsors to the Monster Energy Honda Team. The Diverse Extreme Team brand will be in charge of the attire for all the members of the 2020 Dakar winning team. The quality and innovation in the fabrics of the Polish brand’s kits is an added value and has been very positively viewed by the team. The Honda CRF450 RALLY has also been given a revamp thanks to the new technical sponsor, Barcelona-based brand Uniracing, supplying all the graphics that will adorn the four Honda as they battle for Dakar Rally glory. Equally important, the physical upkeep of the four riders will be left in the very capable hands of Madform, whose creams and gels will be crucial in both the preparation and the physical recovery after the athletes’ gruelling daily slog in the Saudi desert.
Ruben Faria, General Manager
"We are less than two weeks away from starting the Rally in Saudi Arabia. The motorcycles and vehicles are already on the way, and the riders are carrying out the final tests. We will have the number 1 on our bike and we are very proud of that, because it means we did a great job last season. But we have four riders with a lot of experience and we haven't had to change hardly anything in the team, which is very strong and this is very positive, because we all know each other and it should be easy to get along. COVID-19 has disrupted the plans for the whole year, but we hope to arrive in great shape and without any setbacks. The countdown is underway for this new adventure!"