In 2016, MotoGP class regulations underwent major changes to lower the bar to entry, and to even the playing field.
The biggest change was the introduction of a common ECU (Engine Control Unit), removing the performance gap due to computer control between manufacturers. The number of engines per year were also limited, with a freeze on new development once the season started, benefiting new manufacturers to enter MotoGP racing, and the less competitive manufacturers. The official tire supplier was changed from Bridgestone, bringing Michelin back for the first time in eight years. This last change had a large impact, as the tires are the only contact point between bike and asphalt.
As the regulations seemed to disadvantage the established manufacturers, Honda produced the 2016 RC213V conforming to the new rules. The 2016 season was chaotic, with nine race winners from four manufacturers. Honda did not win the team title, but with Marc Marquez winning the riders title, Honda managed to secure the constructors title, for a double title season.
In 2017, Honda took back the constructors title, giving it the first triple crown in three years. And in the following year with a record-setting 19 rounds, Honda repeated its performance.
In 2019, Jorge Lorenzo moved to Honda, and in 2020, Marc Marquez’s brother, Alex, also became part of a more competitive Honda racing family. The season also saw Honda win its third consecutive, ninth-overall triple crown. Honda, with the most talented riders such as Marc Marquez, continues to dominate and win races, and continues to set new records.
In the Moto3 class 2016 season, Enea Bastianin consistently earned points on his NSF250RW, securing a second-place overall ranking. Jorge Navarro, in his second full season, finished third overall.
In 2017, fifteen new model NSF250RW bikes with improved engine and aerodynamics were introduced for eight teams to battle for the championship. With Joan Mir, in his second season, bringing out the best in the bike to win ten races and the championship, Honda had riders on the podium in 13 of the 18 races, completing an utterly dominant season.
In 2018, with the withdrawal of several teams, the season would be a battle between KTM and Honda. To defend its title, Honda had seven teams and thirteen bikes. With a season so competitive that race after race was the race winner was less than a second ahead of tenth place, Jorge Martín emerged the champion on his NSF250RW, taking a dominant seven wins.
2019 remained just as competitive. Honda was represented by seven teams and 14 racing bikes. Dara Porta raced consistently, clocking up ten podiums by Round 17. With two wins he won the riders title, and gave Honda its third consecutive constructors title.
In 2020, MotoGP along with every other motorsports series, was affected by the coronavirus pandemic. After Moto2 and Moto3 class races were held in March, the season was postponed for four months. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, the MotoGP class season started in July.
And, Honda reached an unprecedented 800 world grand prix wins, aiming to continue to set new records.