MotoGP: Honda celebrate 50 years in Grand Prix racing

Published: 14 October 2016

Honda have celebrated their 50th season in Grand Prix racing by uniting Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa with the RC181 machine used by Jim Redman and Mike Hailwood for their first season in the premiere class of racing back in 1966.

The pair lined up with the RC181 and their own RCV213 machines in pit lane last night at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit – a fitting venue at the track owned by Honda and built as a 50th birthday present to themselves back in 1997.


Honda first entered GP racing in 1959, in the 125cc class at the Isle of Man TT. Two years later, Honda claimed its first victory, and its first championship title, before venturing into Honda forayed into the 500cc premier class in 1966.

The RC181, powered by an air-cooled four-stroke engine, debuted in the opening round, the German Grand Prix, to claim its first victory with a dominating 26-second lead. It went on to win five of the nine races that season, not only giving Honda the manufacturers title, but contributing to Honda’s clean sweep of all five classes (50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc).

Since then, Honda has won 277 premiere class races and 38 riders and constructors titles.

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