If we were to play a game of word association, the mention of “Repsol” would automatically trigger “Honda” from the audience, or at least anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to Grand Prix racing. That’s because the two companies have achieved much success in this, their 20th year as partners.
The longest running partnership between sponsor and manufacturer in the history of the Motorcycle World Championship, Repsol Honda has won 10 World titles, 124 race wins and 338 podiums in 500cc and MotoGP. To celebrate, a celebration was held at the Repsol campus in Madrid.
In attendance were current Repsol Honda Team riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, joined by team legend Alex Crivillé. Also participating in the event was Repsol’s Director General of Communication and Presidency, Begoña Elices, Repsol’s Deputy Director of Sponsorship, Milagros Vior and Repsol Honda Team Principal, Livio Suppo. The President of the Spanish Sports Ministry, Miguel Cardenal, Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta and RFME President, Angel Viladoms were also in attendance. Unfortunately, Honda Racing Corporation’s Executive Vice President, Shuhei Nakamoto, was caught in severe weather in Japan and unable to attend the event.
Six of the title-winning bikes from these two decades were on display at the event: Those of Mick Doohan (1997), Alex Criville (1999), Valentino Rossi (2003), Nicky Hayden (2006), Casey Stoner (2011) and Marc Marquez (2013).
The partnership between the two companies began during the two-stroke era of GP racing and eventually carried over to four-strokes in 2002. Throughout it all Repsol worked in close collaboration with Honda engineers in Saitama, Japan to develop its lubricants not only for racers, but the general public.
For a bit of historical reference, half of the titles awarded in the last 20 years have gone to Repsol Honda. Winners such as Mick Doohan, Alex Criville, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez have made the collaboration the most recognized in the World Championship. A total of 124 wins, highlighted by 35 for Mick Doohan and 25 for Dani Pedrosa, 338 podiums, 128 pole positions and 144 fastest laps show an extraordinary set of honors. Repsol Honda have also been team champions on six occasions, since the creation of the prize in 2002.