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60 Years of Honda Racing History

1948

Honda Motor Company established.

1954

Soichiro Honda declares his intention to enter the Isle of Man TT Races.

1959

First Honda entry in World Grand Prix racing at the Isle of Man TT – 125cc class.
Awarded Manufacturers’ Team Prize.

RC142 [125cc twin]

RC142 [125cc twin]

Naoki Taniguchi aboard the RC142 at the 1959 Isle of Man TT.

Naoki Taniguchi aboard the RC142 at the 1959 Isle of Man TT.

1961
  • Honda’s first full season in World Grand Prix racing begins with entries in both 125cc & 250cc classes.
  • First 125cc class victory at the opening round Spanish GP.
  • First 250cc class victory at the W. German GP.
  • 1st – 5th places monopolized in both 125cc & 250cc classes at the Isle of Man TT.
  • Honda wins its first-ever World GP Riders’ and Constructors’ titles in both 125cc & 250cc classes.
RC162 [250cc inline-4]

RC162 [250cc inline-4]

RC143 [125cc twin]

RC143 [125cc twin]

1962
  • Racing activities expanded to 4 classes with the addition of 50cc & 350cc classes.
  • First wins in 3 classes at the Dutch TT.
  • 19 consecutive 250cc class victories achieved at the Italian GP.
  • First 50cc class victory at the Finnish GP.
  • First 350cc class Riders’ and Constructors’ titles.
RC171 [350cc inline-4]

RC171 [350cc inline-4]

RC112 [50cc twin]

RC112 [50cc twin]

  • November, 1962: Suzuka Circuit opens.
Soichiro Honda and the RA270 Formula One (F1) prototype

Soichiro Honda and the RA270 Formula One (F1) prototype

1963
  • 50cc 2-cylinder RC113 and 125cc 4-cylinder RC146 entered at first FIM-sanctioned Japan Grand Prix.
  • Riders’ and Constructors’ titles taken in both 250cc & 350cc classes.
  • August, 1963: Honda automobile sales begin.
1964
  • First 4-class win at the Dutch TT.
  • 250cc 6-cylinder 3RC164 (RC165) introduced at the Italian GP.
  • Riders’ and Constructors’ titles taken in both 125cc & 350cc classes.
  • A clean sweep of the 350cc class season with 8 wins out of 8 races.
2RC146 [125cc inline-4]

2RC146 [125cc inline-4]

  • Honda declares its intent to race in the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix Championships.
  • Competes for the first time at the 6th round German GP.
RA271 [1,500cc V12]

RA271 [1,500cc V12]

1965
  • 5-cylinder 125cc RC148 and 6-cylinder 250cc RC166 introduced at the Japanese GP.
  • Riders’ and Constructors’ titles won in both 50cc & 350cc classes, including first-ever 50cc Riders’ title.
4RC146 [125cc inline-4]

4RC146 [125cc inline-4]

  • October: Richie Ginther takes Honda’s first win in the RA272 at the final round Mexican GP.
RA272 [1,500cc V12]

RA272 [1,500cc V12]

1966
  • Racing activities further expanded to include 500cc class, for full participation in all classes.
  • First 500cc class win at W. German GP.
  • Constructors’ title won in all classes. (First total 5-class Constructors’ titles in World GP history)
  • Riders’ titles also won in 125cc, 250cc & 350cc classes.
RC149 [125cc inline-5]

RC149 [125cc inline-5]

  • New rule change increases displacement to 3,000cc.
RA273 [3,000cc V12]

RA273 [3,000cc V12]

1966: Brabham Honda achieves 11 consecutive wins in F2 for the first time ever.
  • 1966: Brabham Honda achieves 11 consecutive wins in F2 for the first time ever.
1967
  • Winner of 250cc & 350cc class Riders’ and Constructors’ titles.
  • Temporary withdrawal from World GP competition announced at end of season.
RC166 [250cc inline-6]

RC166 [250cc inline-6]

RC181 [500cc inline-4]

RC181 [500cc inline-4]

  • September: John Surtees wins the Italian GP in the RA300.
RA300 [3,000cc V12]

RA300 [3,000cc V12]

1968
  • August, 1969: CB750 Four (K0) released.
1976: First participation in production-based European Championship motorcycle endurance series.
  • 1976: First participation in production-based European Championship motorcycle endurance series.
  • April: First victory at the Zandvoort 600km race.
  • September: European Championship series won at the Bol d’Or 24-Hour Endurance Race.
  • F1 activities suspended at season end to concentrate on production vehicle development.
RA301 [3,000cc V12]

RA301 [3,000cc V12]

RA302 [3,000cc V8]

RA302 [3,000cc V8]

1977
  • November: World GP return declaration.
1979
  • June: NR500 debuts at the British GP.(marking Honda’s return to Grand Prix racing)
NR500 [500cc V4]

NR500 [500cc V4]

  • 1979: Graham Noyce wins Honda’s first 500cc Championship in the 1979 FIM Motocross World Championship series. (André Malherbe takes the crown in 1980 & ’81)
1982
  • Honda debuts the 2-stroke, 3-cylinder NS500.
  • Honda wins its first Grand Prix race in 15 years at the Belgian GP.
  • HRC established in September of 1982.
NS500 [500cc V3]

NS500 [500cc V3]

1982: Eddy Lejeune wins Honda’s first FIM Trial World Championship. (taking 3 consecutive wins through 1984)
  • 1982: Eddy Lejeune wins Honda’s first FIM Trial World Championship. (taking 3 consecutive wins through 1984)
1983
  • Honda wins its first 500cc class Constructors’ title in 16 years.
  • Freddie Spencer takes his first 500cc class Rider’s crown with 6 wins out of 12 races.
  • F1 activities resume as an engine supplier.
  • 6 races run.
Spirit Honda 201C [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Spirit Honda 201C
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1984
  • The V4 NSR500 debuts, later winning the Constructors‘ title for the season.
V4のNSR500を投入
  • Following its return to F1, Keke Rosberg wins Honda its first victory at the 9th round Dallas GP.
Williams Honda FW09 [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Williams Honda FW09
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1985
  • Honda returns to the 250cc class with the NSR250 (RS250RW), taking Constructors’ titles in both 250cc & 500cc classes.
  • 500cc: 8 wins out of 12 races
  • 250cc: 9 wins out of 12 races
  • Freddie Spencer wins his first ever 250cc & 500cc double Riders’ title.
NSR500 [500cc V4]

NSR500 [500cc V4]

  • The FW10 debuts with a carbon composite monocoque body.
  • After winning the 6th round Detroit GP, the FW10 takes the last 3 races in a row, for 4 wins out of 16 races.
Williams Honda FW10 [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Williams Honda FW10
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1986
  • Honda takes the 250cc class Constructors’ title.
1986: Honda places 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th in the motorcycle section of the Paris Dakar Rally. (The first of 4 consecutive wins through 1989)
  • 1986: Honda places 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th in the motorcycle section of the Paris Dakar Rally. (The first of 4 consecutive wins through 1989)
  • Honda takes its first Constructors’ title with 9 wins out of 16 races.
  • A new telemetry system, the first in F1,
    is also introduced to closely monitor the machines.
Williams Honda FW11 [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Williams Honda FW11
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1987
  • Honda returns to the 125cc class with the RS125R.
  • Both Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won in the 250cc class.
  • Wayne Gardner takes the 500cc class Riders’ title.
NSR500 [500cc V4]

NSR500 [500cc V4]

  • Constructors’ title won with 9 wins out of 16 races along with first Driver’s title for Nelson Piquet.
  • Satoru Nakajima becomes Japan’s first full-season F1 driver.
Williams Honda FW11B [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Williams Honda FW11B
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Lotus Honda 99T [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

Lotus Honda 99T
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1988
  • 250cc class Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won with 10 wins out of 15 races.
  • The team of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna set a new record of 15 wins out of 16 races to take the Constructors’ title.
  • Senna wins his first Drivers’ title.
McLaren Honda MP4/4 [1,500cc V6 Turbo]

McLaren Honda MP4/4
[1,500cc V6 Turbo]

1989
  • NSR500 fitted with new gull-wing swingarm.
  • 500cc class Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won by Eddie Lawson.
NSR500 [500cc V4]

NSR500 [500cc V4]

  • First year of the 3.5-liter NA engine wins the Constructors’ title with 9 wins out of 16 races, and the Drivers’ title for Alain Prost.
McLaren Honda MP4/5 [3,500cc V10]

McLaren Honda MP4/5
[3,500cc V10]

1991
  • Constructors’ titles won in both 125cc & 250cc classes.
  • Luca Cadalora wins Honda a record 10th consecutive 250cc class Riders’ title.
  • Two completely different types of engine supplied simultaneously to two different teams.
McLaren Honda MP4/6 [3,500cc V12]

McLaren Honda MP4/6
[3,500cc V12]

Tyrrell Honda 020 [3,500cc V10]

Tyrrell Honda 020
[3,500cc V10]

1992
  • NSR500 equipped with revolutionary new 68° ‘Big Bang’ engine.
  • NSR250 fitted with new cantilever swingarm.
  • Honda takes its 300th World GP victory at the Dutch TT.
  • At the final round Australian GP, Honda notches up a total of 71 victories and suspends its F1 activities.
McLaren Honda MP4/7A [3,500cc V12]

McLaren Honda MP4/7A
[3,500cc V12]

1994
  • NSR500 equipped with new in-cylinder water injection system and electronically controlled variable damping mechanism.
  • Mick Doohan takes the 500cc class Riders’ title ― the first of 5 consecutive wins through 1998.
  • Honda wins its 10th 125cc class Constructors’ title.
NSR500 [500cc V4]

NSR500 [500cc V4]

1994: First participation in the American CART series.
  • 1994: First participation in the American CART series.
1995: The NSX GT2 wins the GT2 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • 1995: The NSX GT2 wins the GT2 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
1996: Jimmy Vasser wins Honda’s first CART championship.
  • 1996: Jimmy Vasser wins Honda’s first CART championship.
1997
  • NSR500 equipped with new ‘Screamer’ engine;
  • Totally dominates the season with 15 wins out of 15 races.
  • Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won in both 250cc & 500cc classes.
NSR500 [500cc V4]

NSR500 [500cc V4]

  • August, 1997: Twin Ring Motegi opens.
2000
  • Honda takes its 140th 500cc class win at the Italian GP.
  • A grand total of 500 GP victories achieved at the season-opening 2001 Japanese GP.
  • Honda returns to F1 activity as an engine supplier.
B・A・R Honda 002 [3,000cc V10]

B・A・R Honda 002
[3,000cc V10]

2002
  • New RC211V 4-stroke V5 introduced the first year of the MotoGP class.
  • Constructors’ title won with 14 wins over 16 races.
  • Valentino Rossi becomes the world’s first MotoGP champion with 11 wins out of 16 races.
RC211V [990cc V5]

RC211V [990cc V5]

  • Driver Takuma Sato takes part in his first F1 race.
Jordan Honda EJ12 [3,000cc V10]

Jordan Honda EJ12
[3,000cc V10]

2004
  • RC211V engine receives major improvements.
  • 3rd consecutive Constructors’ title won in MotoGP.
  • Total 600 Grand Prix wins achieved at the 2005 Australian GP.
  • The team of Jenson Button and Takuma Sato takes 2nd place in the F1 Constructors’ championship.
Honda B・A・R 006 [3,000cc V8]

Honda B・A・R 006
[3,000cc V8]

2004: Buddy Rice wins Honda’s first Indianapolis 500.
  • 2004: Buddy Rice wins Honda’s first Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan wins Honda’s first IRL IndyCar championship.
  • Tony Kanaan wins Honda’s first IRL IndyCar championship.
2006
  • Two types of RC211V are raced in MotoGP.
  • Nicky Hayden wins the MotoGP Riders’ title.
  • Constructors’ and Team titles give Honda a triple crown.
RC211V [990cc V5]

RC211V [990cc V5]

  • First participation in the Full Works Team system.
  • August: Jenson Button wins his first career victory at the 13th round Hungarian GP.
RA106 [2,400cc V8]

RA106 [2,400cc V8]

2007
  • MotoGP displacement reduced to 800cc.
  • New RC212V V4 engine introduced.
RC212V [800cc V4]

RC212V [800cc V4]

  • Full season participation in the logo-free ‘Earth-Colors’ F1 racing machine.
RA107 [2,400cc V8]

RA107 [2,400cc V8]

2008
  • RC212V engine equipped with new pneumatic valve drive system.
RA108 [2,400cc V8]

RA108 [2,400cc V8]

2011
  • Total domination of the MotoGP season gives Honda another triple crown (Rider’, Constructors’, Team titles).
  • New NSF250R debuts in Moto3 class.
RC212V [800cc V4]

RC212V [800cc V4]

2013
  • Marc Márquez becomes youngest MotoGP champion in history, giving Honda another triple crown.
RC213V [1,000cc V4]

RC213V [1,000cc V4]

2014
  • Marc Márquez takes the Riders’ title with 10 consecutive wins.
  • MotoGP triple crown won for two consecutive years.
  • Moto3 Riders’ title won.
2015
  • Moto3 Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won again.
RC213V [1,000cc V4]

RC213V [1,000cc V4]

Grand total of 700 GP wins achieved at Indianapolis GP.
  • Grand total of 700 GP wins achieved at Indianapolis GP.
  • In search of new technological challenges, Honda rejoins F1 as a power unit supplier producing high-efficiency power units.
McLaren Honda MP4-30 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS*]

McLaren Honda MP4-30
[1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS*]

*ERS: Energy Recovery System

2016
  • 50 years marked since Honda first competed in motorcycle racing’s premier class.
  • Marc Márquez brings home MotoGP Riders’ and Constructors’ titles.
2016: 3 top world championships won in the same year ― MotoGP, MXGP (Motocross) & FIM Trial World Championship.
  • 2016: 3 top world championships won in the same year
    ― MotoGP, MXGP (Motocross) & FIM Trial World Championship.
McLaren Honda MP4-31 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

McLaren Honda MP4-31
[1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

2017
  • Marc Márquez wins MotoGP title for 2nd consecutive year.
  • Honda takes yet another triple crown.
  • Moto3 Riders’ & Constructors’ titles also won.
RC213V [1,000cc V4]

RC213V [1,000cc V4]

McLaren Honda MCL32 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

McLaren Honda MCL32
[1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

2017: Takuma Sato becomes first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500.
  • 2017: Takuma Sato becomes first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500.
2018
  • Marc Márquez wins MotoGP Riders’ title for 3rd consecutive year.
  • Honda takes 2nd consecutive triple crown.
  • Moto3 Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won.
2018: Toni Bou wins his 12th consecutive Indoor & Outdoor FIM Trial World Championships.
  • 2018: Toni Bou wins his 12th consecutive Indoor & Outdoor FIM Trial World Championships.
  • New power unit supplied to the Scuderia Toro Rosso team.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
STR13 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

2019

Honda continues its MotoGP challenge with a new system and further refined RC213V.

RC213V [1,000cc V4]

RC213V [1,000cc V4]

  • Marc Márquez wins MotoGP Riders’ title for 4th consecutive year.
  • Honda takes 3rd consecutive triple crown.
  • Moto3 Riders’ & Constructors’ titles won for 3rd consecutive year
  • 3 top world championships won in the same year for the 1st time in 3 years
    ― MotoGP, Motocross World Championship & Trial World Championship.

New power units supplied to Scuderia Toro Rosso and new partner Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR14 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
STR14 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
RB15 [1,600cc V6 Turbo + ERS]

  • Max Verstappen wins 3 races in the same year.
  • Honda wins a race for the 1st time after 2015.