Honda Press Release: Repsol Celebrate 20 Years Of Premier Class Success

Spanish petroleum giant Repsol celebrated 20 years of success in premier class racing at their headquarters in Madrid today, and launched the Repsol Honda team's 2014 MotoGP campaign. To celebrate, they issued the following press release and video:

Marquez & Pedrosa celebrate the Repsol Honda Team’s 20th anniversary

Campus Repsol, Madrid, today hosted the 20th anniversary celebration of the collaboration between Repsol and Honda in the Motorcycle World Championship’s premier class. Over the past 20 years, this Alliance has celebrated 10 World titles, 124 race wins and 338 podiums in 500cc and MotoGP.

The longest running partnership between sponsor and manufacturer in the history of the Motorcycle World Championship has enjoyed many sporting successes and also much technological development. Repsol and Honda began their relationship in February of 1995, starting a perfect mix of bike, fuel and lubricant.

Current Repsol Honda Team riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, were joined by team legend Alex Crivillé. Also participating in the event was Repsol’s Director General of Communication and Presidency, Begoña Elices, Repsol’s Deputy Director of Sponsorship, Milagros Vior and Repsol Honda Team Principal, Livio Suppo. The President of the Spanish Sports Ministry, Miguel Cardenal, Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta and RFME President, Angel Viladoms were also in attendance. Unfortunately, Honda Racing Corporation’s Executive Vice President, Shuhei Nakamoto, was caught in severe weather in Japan and unable to attend the event.

Six of the title-winning bikes from these two decades were on display at the event: Those of Mick Doohan (1997), Alex Criville (1999), Valentino Rossi (2003), Nicky Hayden (2006), Casey Stoner (2011) and Marc Marquez (2013).


For Repsol, the long collaboration with Honda is a stimulus for the development of products for the demanding level of competition found in the Motorcycle World Championship. These developments are passed on to more than 4000 service stations in the company. The relationship is also a close link between the Honda laboratory in Saitama, Japan, and the Repsol Technology Centre in Mostoles, Spain.

These two decades of teamwork are an example of long lasting collaboration and an aspiration of excellence. Repsol and Honda operate in separate sectors and have different corporate cultures, but have been capable of using their strengths to achieve a successful partnership since the 1990’s. The collaboration began to develop two-stroke engines and fuels, later moving on to the development of 4-stroke technologies.

At the Repsol Technology Centre investigations are made with a single cylinder engine identical to that used in Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa’s bikes. Only the Honda engineers in Saitama have one like this. This year, MotoGP fuel quantities are limited to 20 litres – one fewer than in 2013.

Enviable honours

Half of the titles awarded in the last 20 years have gone to Repsol Honda. Winners such as Mick Doohan (champion from 1995 to 1998), Alex Criville (1999), Valentino Rossi (2002 and 2003), Nicky Hayden (2006), Casey Stoner (2011) and Marc Marquez (2013) have made the collaboration the most recognized in the World Championship. A total of 124 wins, highlighted by 35 for Mick Doohan and 25 for Dani Pedrosa, besides 338 podiums, 128 pole positions and 144 fastest laps show an extraordinary set of honours. Repsol Honda have also been team champions on 6 occasions, since the creation of the prize in 2002.

Team Quotes

Marc Marquez

“It's hard to explain what it feels like to see my bike here with other title-winning machines. It is an honour to be part of the Repsol Honda Team and to be part of the team's history with my World Championship. Seeing my bike alongside those of Rossi, Criville, Doohan, Stoner and Hayden fills me with pride and gives me extra motivation for this season. Joining this team last year was a dream come true. All my idols have come through the Repsol Honda Team. It was an opportunity that I had to make the most of, and that is what I am doing. I enjoy every day to the fullest"

Dani Pedrosa

“The alliance of Repsol and Honda is very significant - it's something of which many people are aware. If you talk about this team, you know that it is one of the most successful outfits of recent years. The nicest thing is that this union of entities has lasted 20 years. This continuity is something that you don't see too often and I, personally, really like this aspect"

Livio Suppo

Team Principal / Communications and Marketing Director

"We are very fortunate to be in the position to celebrate 20 years of partnership with Repsol. This isn't a regular commercial partnership, but also a technological partnership with engineers from HRC and Repsol working together to produce specific fuel, engine oil and lubricants for racing. We have shared a great deal of success over the years and many Championships. I hope we will have many more in the future"

Milagros Vior

Repsol Deputy Director of Sponsorship

“In the 20 years’ alliance between Repsol and Honda, based on technological development and the support for the sport, we share values that include innovation, responsibility and commitment. Sharing these values allows us to improve and to aspire to excellence inside and outside the circuits"


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It has to be at least a little bit upsetting for Dani to take a look to his left.

... is more like it. His only teammate NOT to win a championship was Dovizioso.

I like that bike with the bold #1 plate. Yeah, we are aware that some riders have an aversion to the extra ballast that the #1 plate carries with it. Harping on about it again I surely am, but #'s 1,2 and 3 should be mandatory for the previous seasons #1,2 and 3 finishers. The FIM need to adress this. Potential novice viewers need to know why such a fuss is made about the bloke who came 99th and so on. It's very difficult to fathom the intricacies of things so simple to us. I introduced a pal to this sport 10 years back. He loves it now, but understandably is not so jacked up and still trying to wrap his head around testing rules, ex CRT rules ,now OPEN rules. Nevermind tyre rule, fuel limits per category and sundry. ECU ...let's not even go there.The GPC need to simplify things in order that they may garner a much wider viewership.So, kudos to Mick,Nick,Casey and Jorge. Had the nuts. A basic and simple starting point for me would be to tell a new fan of the sport...'That bloke has #1 on his bike because he is the current world champion'.
Quizz. Second longest relationship. How far adrift are Marlboro and Ducati ? You tell me. Not in terms of the results, but rather in terms of their relationship.Just asking anyone. I wonder how much longer that one will continue. I guess its a question of Marlboro pride vs Ducati results.

The Marlboro brand name has been mentioned so often in relation to Ducati's struggles, I am sure this planted subliminal preferences in quite a few heads of smoking MotoGP fans.

While I totally agree with you, the riders number has in recent times become his brand, and it is a huge money maker that they are not likely to give away - witness brand VR46 that will be a feature in racing long after the man has belatedly hung up his leathers. The reason JL ran #99 the second time around was far more down to his marketing team and potential earnings than it was about superstition or similar. Amusingly, MD could have basically have had #1 as his 'brand', so dominant was he. But sadly I suspect we've seen the last #1 carried unless it is mandated, which I find highly unlikely.

Of even more annoyance to me than the "ownership" of a number is the "retirement" of said number. Was MM even born when Schwantz won his title? But at least KS earned the right for his number to be retired, it was absolute farce to retire Capirossi's number. Obviously #46 will be retired when the time comes, but I hope they put a time limit on it or something, say a decade or two. If someone has the cojones to come along and write a new story with #34, or 46 for that matter, then good luck to them.

With all due respect it shouldnt be about marketing and this is where i believe Dorna should be saying to riders they can market whatever they want outside of motogp, but if they are world champ they need to carry the number 1 plate. They can quite easily carry the 1 plate with thier other number inside it just as someone did recently.

I agree. I wonder how Dani feels looking at all those bikes from his team that have won the world title when he hasnt. He's problem thinking "thank f*** I dont work for Ducati". ;)

Interesting (I don't know why) that Marquez' bike is the only one to have "Repsol" angled backwards on his bike. The marketers will swear it makes the name more recognizable, the designers will say it flows better on the bike, others will say it sells more fuel....the external marketing consultants will say it makes no difference at all but thanks for paying us the millions to flip it around for you.

Everyone knows the entire field laid down for him in 2006,refusing to compete for and win the coveted title for themselves because,well....uh ...because...well, there is actually no reason for them to "give it to him",but they did.....I know because idiots write such nonsense here quite often...
All sarcasm aside,considering the way Honda kicked him to the curb,and now are apparently content(so far) to allow him to ride around on a dog rather than give a millimeter in their intransigent position towards the open class and the factory programming debate/debacle,I would not have been surprised to see Nicky excluded....and Number 1 should be mandatory for the Champion,at least on the bike on race day. Keep the "branding" number for your marketing,although I can't a imagine a better marketing tool than a number 1 plate.
A very sincere Congrats to Honda and Repsol,its great history and all its great riders. Mr. Honda was a great man and a true visionary and he is sorely missed.

Dani blah blah choker blah never won a title blah blah blah

Nicky blah blah blah Honda dumped him blah blah

Seriously guys, is it really worth it? Leave the agenda-laden wheelbarrows at home, we're here to celebrate motorcycle racing - right?

What an incredible pedigree the Repsol/HRC partnership have after twenty years together - is this the most successful partnership ever in motorcycle racing? in motor racing, period? It would be interesting to know. Gulf, Martini, John Player - all big names in sponsorship, but have any ever stayed with one racing team for so long?

It would really be something to be in the same room as all of those bikes at once...