Few could have imagined in 1995, when Repsol and Honda signed their first technology and sports collaboration agreement that this alliance would continue to enjoy success 26 years later.
The two companies have now renewed their agreement and the iconic Repsol Honda colours will continue to feature in the MotoGP World Championship for a further two years, through 2022.
The relationship between Repsol and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) was immediately fruitful, with Mick Doohan winning the inaugural race of the 1995 season at Eastern Creek (Australia) and going on to win the title that same year. Since then, the Repsol Honda Team have achieved 180 victories and 15 Rider World Championships in the premier class.
More than half of the 500cc/MotoGP world titles since 1995 have been won by the Repsol Honda Team. In addition, the Repsol-Honda collaboration has resulted in ten Team World Championships since the award was created in 2002. They hold a record 447 podium finishes in 500cc and MotoGP thanks to riders such as Mick Doohan, Álex Crivillé, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Márquez and, most recently, Álex Márquez.
Competition as a testing field
More than a sponsorship arrangement, the relationship between these two great companies is based on a joint effort to achieve excellence: Victories at race tracks around the world and the development of products. The close working partnership between the Repsol Technology Lab, located in Móstoles (Spain), and the HRC laboratories in Saitama (Japan), has resulted in a winning formula based on the harmony between the motorcycle, the rider, fuel and lubricants.
The collaboration began in the 90s with the development of two-stroke engines and fuel, followed by the challenge of achieving the best performance for four-stroke machines. Today, Repsol and Honda continue to work together to improve their products in a testing field as demanding as MotoGP, and always provide the most innovative developments to their riders. A few years down the line, regular customers of Repsol’s 5,000 service stations in Spain, Portugal, Peru, Italy and Mexico benefit from the developments, as do those in the more than 90 countries where they market their lubricants.
In 2019, the two companies celebrated the 25th anniversary of their alliance. It was a year in which Marc Márquez won Repsol and Honda their 15th premier class title, along with a tenth team title.
This renewal represents a reaffirmation of Repsol's commitment to the world of sport. The presence of the Spanish energy company in the competition dates back to 1969 and goes far beyond the concept of sports sponsorship itself. Present is a commitment to learning, improving day by day and continuing to give one’s all, whatever the situation that is faced. These values have been present throughout these 26 years of continuous challenges. Both Repsol and Honda have shown that they share the same philosophy of teamwork, mutual respect and the spirit of improvement.
"The renewal of this agreement with a partner as important to Repsol as Honda in MotoGP is proof of the strength of our alliance, especially in the current international climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For Repsol, the technological factor is key and this historic association has provided a lot of innovation and collaboration. Together we have achieved great sporting goals and we have also made our products evolve towards excellence. Continuing to advance along this successful path, always at the service of society, is what drives us to continue to improve day after day.”
"It is always a satisfaction to extend our collaboration with Repsol, with this latest renewal being for two more years. Together we have achieved incredible success and form a partnership that is unique in motorsport. Working as a single team, we have had to overcome all obstacles and difficulties that come our way - and we will continue to have to do this. 2020 has been a tough year for the world as a whole, but together with Repsol we have remained focused on our objectives. Now we are looking forward to continuing this journey together and to writing many more pages in the history of top level racing competition.”