Since its founding, many of the most emblematic riders of the Repsol Honda Team have hailed from the country of the rising sun.
The first rider on our list joined the Repsol Honda team during its infancy in 1995 and accompanied us for two seasons. At the time, 500cc was the top class and names like Mick Doohan and Àlex Crivillé dominated the scene. He was the first rider from Japan to wear the team colours.
This spectacular Japanese rider joined Repsol Honda in 1996 and stayed with us until 2000. He is rightly considered one of the team’s most emblematic riders. In his four years with the team, he stepped onto the podium 21 times, secured four victories, and won second place in the top class in the 1997 world championship.
Though he was only with us for the 1997 season, Aoki’s fighting spirit continues to be an inspiration for our team. He was left paraplegic in 1998 following a tragic fall during the pre-season, but this did not dampen his ambition. Aoki continued to race in rallys and tests, including the 2009 Dakar Rally.
He was a highly reliable rider who experienced a time of change during his time in the World Championship with our team. He is the only rider in the team to have raced in both 500cc and MotoGP. During the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Ukawa stepped onto the podium 10 times and secured an unforgettable victory at South Africa’s Welkom circuit.
This Japanese rider is one of the World Championship’s well-known figures. Aoyama hasn’t been an official Team rider, but we saw plenty of him on the track in 2011, 2015, and 2016 as a replacement rider. Hiroshi is a test rider for Honda. Joining the competition mid-season and racing in a MotoGP is never easy, making his efforts worthier than what his final score might suggest.
Though not a MotoGP rider, there is no doubt that this trial rider is one of Repsol Honda’s most iconic figures. With 20 years of professional racing under his belt, Takahisa was World Champion in 2004 and has remained in fifth place throughout his years in competition.
For Fuji, the most thrilling race of the year takes place in Motegi, at the Trial circuit integrated into the MotoGP track. Ultimately, it is at this trial race that the rider comes into contact with his Japanese fans, for whom he is an institution.
Since its founding back in 1995, many of the most emblematic riders of the Repsol Honda Team have hailed from the country of the rising sun. Together, we have written and have yet to write many chapters in racing history. Now, we head to the next Japanese Grand Prix, very eager to come out victorious.