Baja Inka: penultimate test before the Dakar

2017-09-12 09:32
Monster Energy Honda Team next week dispute the Baja Inka 2017 Paracas 1000, to be held in the same Peruvian desert that will later host the opening of the 2018 Dakar Rally.

The action-packed summer for Monster Energy Honda Team, with races in Spain, the United States, Chile and Argentina, wraps up with the participation in Peru’s Baja Inka in September. The rally will be battled out over four days as riders tackle more than 1000 kilometres of dunes and desert in Ica and Paracas.

Monster Energy Honda Team will be represented by the trio of Paulo Gonçalves, Kevin Benavides and Michael Metge, in a race which will have its base in the city of Paracas to the south of the country’s capital Lima. Proceedings for the Baja Inka 2017 get underway with the administrative checks, ahead of the technical ‘shakedown’, both scheduled for 13th September, prior to first full stage on the following day.

Paulo Goncalves
This rally, which I wasn’t expecting to race in, will be really good for the team, particularly for me. It’s important to get a first contact with the dunes and the navigation in the Peru desert. It will be much more than just training and we are confident to keep working on the Honda CRF450 RALLY and carry on getting great results for the team before the Dakar.

Kevin Benavides
For me, getting to race in Peru before we do it next January is really important. I feel comfortable in the dunes and I am hoping to get another good result after the ones in August in the Atacama and the Desafío Ruta 40, although the most important thing isn’t just the victory or the podium, but to make sure that we have good sensations with the sand.

Michael Metge
I’m really looking forward to the Inka Rally. I think that the Desafío Ruta 40 showed that I can be really fast and navigate well even when I’m opening the track. This race will give me a chance to get more kilometres under my belt on the Honda CRF450 RALLY this season, which will help to get to the team’s forthcoming dates in even better condition.

Raul Castells
Monster Energy Honda Team Manager
We are very happy to be able to dispute what is a new event for us, in spite of having been very busy in recent months with lots of testing. We think that a race in the Peruvian desert could be very positive for the team before the Dakar Rally: for the riders, the mechanics and the technical crew to be able to analyze how the bike handles this special type of terrain. We are confident of getting a good result although it’s not our main aim, which will be to help bond the team together.

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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