• Honda Racing Legends Wow Assen MotoGP Crowd

    Honda motorcycle racing legends Mick Doohan and Kunimitsu Takahashi added a note of history to the Dutch MotoGP round by riding a lap of honor aboard historic Honda racing machines before the MotoGP race got underway.

Honda Racing Legends Wow Assen MotoGP Crowd

TT CIRCUIT ASSEN, Netherlands, June 30, 2019

Honda motorcycle racing legends Mick Doohan and Kunimitsu Takahashi added a note of history to today’s Dutch MotoGP round by riding a lap of honor aboard historic Honda racing machines before the MotoGP race got underway.

The lap was part of Honda’s weekend of celebrations, marking the 60th anniversary of the company’s World Championship racing adventure, which began on the Isle of Man on June 3, 1959.

Takahashi, who made history at the 1961 West German Grand Prix when he became the first Japanese rider to win a GP, rode a rebuilt RC142 125cc machine, as used by Honda at the 1959 TT.

The RC142 was therefore Honda’s first Grand Prix machine and pointed the way to the future with its innovative engine technology. The twin-cylinder four-stroke took Naomi Taniguchi to a World Championship point in Honda’s debut world-class event and won the team prize for the company.

Mick Doohan , Kunimitsu Takahashi

Mick Doohan , Kunimitsu Takahashi

Less than two years later the 125cc RC143 and 250cc RC162 won Honda’s first World Championships, with Australian Tom Phillis and Briton Mike Hailwood aboard. In 1966 Honda won the Constructors World Championships in all five classes – 500cc, 350cc, 250cc, 125cc and 50cc – a unique achievement.

Doohan rode his Assen lap on the 1989 NSR500 that Eddie Lawson rode to the 1989 500cc World Championship, the midway point in Honda’s 60-year Grand Prix adventure. Doohan made his GP debut that same year, aboard a similar NSR500, and went on to win five consecutive titles with Honda, from 1994 to 1998, when he also won five successive 500cc Dutch TTs.

The NSR500 raced from 1984 to 2001, during which time it became the most successful premier-class machine of all time, winning 134 Grand Prix victories, ten Riders World Championships and 11 Constructors World Championships.

The technology learned through so many seasons of racing with the NSR500 helped Honda take an early lead in the new four-stroke MotoGP World Championship, which began in 2002.

Honda has continued to lead the way with innovative technology which has helped Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) win five of the last six MotoGP crowns. The Spaniard also leads this year’s title chase aboard his RC213V.

Over the past six decades Honda has won 779 Grand Prix races, 60 Riders World Championships and 69 Constructors World Championships. All of these achievements are all-time records that underline the ongoing superiority of Honda technology.

Kunimitsu Takahashi

Kunimitsu Takahashi

Mick Doohan

Mick Doohan

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