World GP racing regulations underwent major changes in 2002, with the 500cc class being renamed MotoGP class, and 4-stroke machines’ maximum displacement being set at 990cc. In response to these changes, Honda had unleashed the 4-stroke RC211V. Two decades had passed since Honda had last developed a 4-stroke GP machine, the NR500. The displacement of the RC211V was 990cc, the maximum allowed under the new regulations. Honda’s challenge was to develop a previously unheard-of 5-cylinder engine, with a maximum output exceeding 240PS. In the 2002 season MotoGP class, 2-stroke and 4-stroke machines raced side-by-side, and to maintain equal conditions between the machines, maximum displacement of 2-stroke engines was limited to 500cc. The RC211V was a runaway success, winning 12 of the 16 grands prix, giving Honda the riders' and constructors' titles. The newly crowned Valentino Rossi had won 11 races to score a record-breaking 355 championship points, proving the power of the RC211V. In 2004, Honda defended its constructors' title with 7 wins, and in 2006 won both the riders' and constructors' titles with 8 Grands Prix victories, conquering a closely fought season only after Nicky Hayden secured the championship in the final round.