Defending champion, Todd Smith and Honda teammate, brother and second place rider Jacob Smith, are gearing up for the toughest endurance race in the Asia Pacific region; the 2012 Australasian Safari.
On board their GHR Honda Racing prepared CRF450Xs, the brothers, who dominated the 2011 event, are in Western Australia making the final preparations before the event kicks off with a ceremonial start this Friday.
The seven day navigational event celebrates its 27th year in 2012 and will be tougher than ever with a changed route that commences and concludes in Geraldton. The GHR Honda team are aiming for their 6th outright victory in the bike class.
The GHR Honda team is comprised of seven
Honda CRF450X motorcycles, one TRX700XX quad and one buggy. Team entrants include three South Africans, one American and a total of five competitors in training for the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Todd Smith is confident his 2011 performance plus other recent results will put him in good stead for the 2012 event; “My form coming off last year’s Safari win has been excellent. Condo and Yellow Mountain were excellent results and I came away with third at Finke. The background development for the team has been ongoing and the testing a couple of weeks back left us both with a sense of confidence.”
Jacob Smith is also using his 2011 experience to shape his 2012 expectations; “Safari is all about putting yourself in a position to win it, but picking the right moment to do it. This year Todd and I are both approaching the race with the same mentality as we had last year. If we can get up the front in the prologue and then stay out of trouble fo
r a few days then we’ll be on track for good things.”
Team Principal, Glenn Hoffmann is confident in the performance of the Honda’s to take his riders to victory; “We’ve been busy as always on development even though the results last Safari meant we couldn’t fault the product. However, when we stand back and look at what we’ve built this year they look so compact and slim. It’s a really good thing.
Hoffmann went onto say; “Our most recent testing showed both Todd and Jacob were very comfortable with the package straight away. The bikes turn beautifully and the corner speed they can carry is impressive. We’re all hoping for good things.”
Honda’s CRF450X has been proving itself again and again as an off
-road enduro champion and Honda’s TRX700XX offers riders unbeatable levels of confidence, comfort and performance.