MotoGP: Honda reach 800 Grand Prix victories with Jaume Masia's Moto3 win
Jaume Masia's victory in the Moto3 race at the Teruel Grand Prix, held at Aragon, was Honda's 800th in Grand Prix racing.
Riding the NSF250RW machine, the Leopard Racing rider clinched back-to-back victories at the Spanish circuit - one week after becoming Honda's 100th race winner. To reach 800 GP victories* is a huge achievement for Honda, one that no other manufacturer has been able to reach.
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Honda's first victory came at the 125cc Spanish Grand Prix in 1961, with Australian Tom Phillis clinching the win on his RC143. The first victory came just one year after Honda entered the 125 and 250cc classes, and two years after Honda became the first Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to enter the Isle of Man TT. Founder Soichiro Honda had declared his intent to compete there in 1954.
Kunimitsu Takahashi took Honda’s first 250cc victory, on the RC162, at Hockenheim, Germany, in 1961. At the same time Takahashi became the first Japanese rider to win a GP. Honda would soon expand its racing programme to include the 350cc and 50cc classes. In 1966 Honda's bikes won the 50, 125, 250, 350 and 500cc constructors titles.
During six decades of GP racing Honda riders have won more than 60 rider's world championships and the manufacturer has secured more than 70 constructors world championships.
"I am proud of Honda’s 800th FIM World Championship Grand Prix victory," said Takahiro Hachigo - President, CEO and Representative Director, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "I am deeply grateful to the Honda fans worldwide for their contributions to, and unwavering support for Honda’s racing activities.
"I would also like to thank all of those before us for their passion and dedication to overcome the countless problems and lead us from 1959 to where we stand now. Honda sees this moment as a waypoint and will continue to fight for victory. We look forward to your continued support.”
Honda paused its factory racing activities in 1967 to focus on the development of road bikes. They would return to GP racing in 1979, winning the 500cc title with Freddie Spencer on the NS500 (Honda's first two-stroke GP bike) four years later.
In 1984 Honda released the NSR500, which would become the most successful premier class bike in history - winning more than 130 races and 21 rider and constructor's titles with the likes of Wayne Gardner, Eddie Lawson and Mick Doohan.
Honda continued to enjoy success in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes in the years that followed, with Valentino Rossi taking Honda’s 500th win at the 2001 Japanese GP.
Since 1995 the premier class factory team - Repsol Honda - has secured 15 riders' titles which some of the sport's biggest names - Mick Doohan (4), Alex Criville (1), Valentino Rossi (2), Nick Hayden (1), Casey Stoner (1) and Marc Marquez (6). The Repsol-Honda partnership has recorded a total of 180 wins and 447 podiums in 500cc and MotoGP.
With the introduction of the Moto3 class in 2012, Honda built its first four-stroke 250cc GP bike since the six-cylinder RC166 of the 1960s. Honda has won four of the last five constructors prizes in the lightweight class, with over 100 race wins to its name.
Here are the major winning milestones for Honda:
- Honda’s 1st Grand Prix victory - Tom Phillis, 1961 Spanish 125cc GP, Honda RC143
- Honda’s 100th Grand Prix victory - Luigi Taveri, 1966 Dutch 50cc TT, Honda RC116
- Honda’s 200th Grand Prix victory - Jimmy Filice, 1988 US 250cc GP, Honda NSR250
- Honda’s 300th Grand Prix victory - Alex Criville, 1992 Dutch 500cc TT, Honda NSR500
- Honda’s 400th Grand Prix victory -Haruchika Aoki, 1996 Brazilian 125cc GP, Honda RS125R
- Honda’s 500th Grand Prix victory - Valentino Rossi, 2001 Japanese 500cc GP, Honda NSR500
- Honda’s 600th Grand Prix victory - Dani Pedrosa, 2005 Australian 250cc GP, Honda R250RW
- Honda’s 700th Grand Prix victory - Marc Marquez, 2015 Indianapolis MotoGP, Honda RC213V
- Honda’s 800th Grand Prix victory - Jaume Masia, 2020 Teruel Moto3, Honda NSF250RW
*Number of wins counted by Honda based on FIM records Moto2 class wins are not included. Moto3 class wins in 2012 are not included as Honda wins, in compliance with FIM regulations, as the registered constructor was FTR Honda (powered by the NSF250R engine)