Honda Marks 60th Anniversary In World Championship

Honda marked the occasion with fanfare at Assen.

Honda motorcycle takes celebratory lap.
Taking a celebratory lap for 60 years.Honda

Last weekend, Honda took time during the MotoGP stop at Assen to celebrate its 60th anniversary racing in the motorcycle world championship. Many were on hand to mark the occasion, including current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, former champions Freddie Spencer and Mick Doohan, as well as Kunimitsu Takahashi, the first Japanese racer to win a GP.

"No one could have imagined that after 60 years Honda would still be competing and winning all around the world," said HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata. "Honda is the only company contesting all major motorsport disciplines: from MotoGP to Formula 1, from Motocross to IndyCar, from Dakar to Trials and from World Superbikes to Enduro. Competition is an important part of Honda's philosophy, and an excellent way to develop new Honda products."

The first Japanese rider to win a GP takes a spin during Honda’s celebration at Assen.
The first Japanese rider to win a GP takes a spin during Honda’s celebration at Assen.Honda

The brand got its motorcycle start back in 1959, contesting the Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT. In 1966 Honda won its first constructors title in the top-tier class and since then have won 21 additional championships.

"Many of the most iconic bikes have been created by Honda," said Marquez. "I am very proud to have played a part in the history of Honda's racing success and look forward to achieving even more in the future."

"I can still remember my first visit to HRC in late 1988, a few days before I signed to be part of Honda's 1989 500cc World Championship effort," added Doohan, who won the 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 500cc titles aboard NSR machines. "I was immediately impressed with the commitment of all the staff as I toured the facility. Reading the signs with 'Tomorrow's Technology Today' everywhere stood out and sold me on Honda's philosophy."

"I remember Soichiro Honda and his team determined to make the best machines in the world and that is how Honda Racing's activity started," said Takahashi. "I feel strongly that the Honda Racing spirit has been handed over to new generation!"

Five-time MotoGP champ, Marc Marquez is the flag-bearer for Honda in MotoGP.
Five-time MotoGP champ, Marc Marquez is the flag-bearer for Honda in MotoGP.Honda

Honda’s currently on pace to add another championship title to its tally, with Marquez leading his closest competitor by a solid 44 point margin. True, the season’s not yet half over, but Honda’s dominance in recent years with Marquez at the helm makes them a pretty solid bet in 2019.