Honda previously announced its participation with five riders in October. However, Felipe Zanol (Brazil) and Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) crashed and were injured while pre-Dakar tests that were carried out in Mojave Desert in the United States in early December.
As a result of their injuries, both riders will not be able to attend the 2013 competition. TEAM HRC will compete with three riders, Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Javier Pizzolito (Argentina) and Johnny Campbell (USA).
On day one (Monday 3 December) of the planned five-day test, British rider Sunderland was injured.
The 23-year-old was taken to hospital where initial scans revealed fractures to his left arm and left wrist.
On day two (Tuesday 4 December), Brazilian rider Zanol suffered head injuries. The 31-year-old was immediately airlifted to a local hospital.
“Felipe Zanol and Sam Sunderland have been part of the program since the foundation of TEAM HRC and have participated in all testing and the Morocco Rally.
They both gave us valuable advice on how to improve the competition machine. Unfortunately, they will miss the final event but I believe they are still part of the team. AS our team ethic is a big part of our strength, we will continue with our goal of winning the Dakar.”