The longest running link 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.
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, riders for the Repsol Honda Team, were joined by team legend Alex Criville today. Also participating in the event were Executive President of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, Director General of Communication and Presidency for Repsol, Begoña Elices, and Repsol Honda Team Principal, Livio Suppo. Watching proceedings were President of the Spanish Sports Ministry, Miguel Cardenal, Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta and RFME President, Angel Viladoms.
(Top) Alex Criville celebrates his 1999 World Championship. (Middle) Nicky Hayden scored the MotoGP title in 2006 with Repsol Honda. (Below) Valentino Rossi scored world titles in 2002 and 2003 while riding for Repsol Honda.
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 as demanding a competition as the Motorcycle World Championship. These developments are passed on to the over 4000 service stations of 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 In the 1990s, 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.
Half of the titles awarded in the last 20 years have gone to Repsol Honda. Winners like Mick Doohan (between 1995 and 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 recognised 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.
“It’s hard to explain what it feels like to see my bike here with other title-winning machines. It is an honor 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.”
“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.”
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”.
Livio Suppo, Repsol Honda Team Principal
“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”.