This weekend Team HRC riders Joan Barreda and Michael Metge are set to participate in the legendary ‘Vegas to Reno’ race, the longest off-road race in the United States, now in its twentieth edition.
As a climax to several weeks of testing in the deserts of the United States, Team HRC’s Joan Barreda (Spain) and Michael Metge (France) will line up for the arduous ‘Vegas to Reno’ rally. Over two days -start on Friday 19th and end on Saturday 20th- riders will have to cover 644 miles (1036 kilometres) of the Nevada Desert in a race which connects the state’s two main cities: Las Vegas and Reno. It is the longest off-road race in the U.S. and is the seventh race in the ‘Best in the Desert’ calendar. Barreda and Metge will race in the ‘Vegas to Reno’ thanks to the logistical and technical assistance provided by team JCR’s Johnny Campbell and American Honda.
The objective for the Team HRC riders is to continue the intense programme of testing that the Honda CRF450 RALLY has been forced to endure while the team sets up the bike ahead of the 2017 Rally Dakar.
American Team HRC rider Ricky Brabec, who won the 2014 edition of the ‘Vegas to Reno’ won’t be taking part as he is currently in Chile for the Atacama Rally 2016 which will be held from 21st to 27th August. Brabec will ride the Chilean desert alongside fellow Honda CRF450 RALLY riders Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides.
Team HRC Rally Project Leader
We will participate in this ‘Vegas to Reno’ as one further event in our work programme that will culminate with the Dakar 2017. The aim of the ‘Vegas to Reno’ is to make the final preparations for the main race of the season. We hope that our riders Joan Barreda and Mika Metge perform and are able to verify the fine performance of the Honda CRF450 RALLY as well. I would like to thank Honda America and Johnny Campbell and the staff of JCR for their co-operation in this race and over the recent weeks of testing that we have carried out: an enormous thank you for the collaboration. Thanks also to our fans and sponsors. Go Team HRC!
I’m happy. After various weeks spent in the United States putting the kilometres in, we are finishing the new bike’s durability programme and are drawing some good conclusions. We will finish the testing in the U.S. with the ‘Vegas to Reno’ race, a really interesting race that will be very high-speed. We will be able to test everything out: it will be over 1000 kilometres of timed special, but as it’s the first time that I will have ridden in the U.S. I will be able to ride without much pressure and we will try and learn what the race is all about.
We have been out in California for three weeks and we have done a lot of kilometres of roadbook. For me it has been very positive. I’ve got more confident with the bike and with the navigation. I have really learnt a lot during this period. Now we are getting ready for the next ‘Vegas to Reno’ race. I’m pleased to be participating in this race. The tracks are very nice and although I don’t yet know what it will be like to race here, I’m really looking forward to participating on the bike which is running so well. I’m sure that we will have a great time.