The Mugello circuit, in Italy, played host to the Honda racing team (HRC) due to take part in the 2014 Dakar in Rosario, Argentina. Five riders will line up on the new Honda CRF450 Rally, Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Sam Sunderland (UK), Javier Pizzolito (Argentina), Joan Barreda (Spain), and Paulo Goncalves (Portugal). COUNTDOWN TO DAKARThe team will set off in June with some warm up events before the Dakar. It features gruelling stages in Bolivia and finishes on January 18 in Valparaiso, Chile, some 8000km later. For Helder Rodrigues and Javier Pizzolito the countdown begins in June with the Desafio Ruta 40 rally in Argentina and Joan Barreda and Paulo Goncalves in the Pharaon’s Rally in Cairo, Egypt at the end of September 2013.Sam Sunderland, after taking third place in the Abu Dhabi Desert challenge, will continue the season carrying out tests in North Africa, and will take part in the Morocco Rally and the Merzouga Rally. Winning the Dakar, the team claims, will be an exceptional benchmark for the bike which will become a mass production model. HRC’s Katsumi Yamazaki will serve as the team director with Martino Bianchi as general manager.