1995 Australian GP
The first race of the year and Repsol Honda's debut as a team was an epic triumph. There's no better way to make a name for oneself in the competition than securing a victory, the fastest lap, and the pole position. The man responsible for these feats was the five-time world champion Mick Doohan, who crossed the finish line a full 13.4 seconds ahead of second place, securing a sweeping victory in his native Australia.
1996 Czech GP
As exciting as a race can be: Álex Crivillé came away victorious, crossing the finish line a mere two milliseconds ahead of his partner Mick Doohan. The Repsol Honda riders left the starting grid in 2nd and 3rd place, but, with 15 laps to go, the Australian rider had the lead, followed closely by Crivillé.
What followed was a pressure-filled competition, the two pilots overtaking and tailing one another constantly. During the last lap, one could almost reach out and touch the cloud of pressure around the riders. Ultimately, they crossed the finish line practically parallel to one another. The winner was decided using Photo Finish, which would reveal one of the tightest victories in all of GP history.
2012 Valencian GP
Dani Pedrosa has won the Valencia GP eight times, but none were as impressive as 2012’s. A heavy downpour before the race had covered the track in water, but the asphalt quickly started to dry. Noticing this, the Repsol Honda rider decided during the warm-up laps to change out his bike for the dry one; and therefore instead of getting the pole, he started from the worst possible position of that race: the pit lane. But Pedrosa continued gaining position throughout the race until his spectacular victory, taking a 37.6 second advantage over Nakasuga, who finished in second. The podium was complete with another Repsol Honda rider, Casey Stoner, who that day raced the final GP of his career.
2012 Czech GP
The head-to-head battles between Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo have become legendary in MotoGP. These are two of the most technical and talented riders of the grid, and watching them compete for first place is always exciting. The tightest competition these two riders were ever involved in took place in the Brno circuit in 2012.
Numbers 26 and 99 left at the lead, the Majorcan rider at pole position. From the first lap, the two riders became involved in an intense hunt, where hunter and hunted exchanged positions. The lead went back and forth multiple times until finally, a few meters away from the crossing line, Dani Pedrosa managed to overtake Lorenzo. The rider from Castellar del Vallés crossed the finish line with a lead of only 178 milliseconds, claiming the championship at one of the most epic battles MotoGP has ever seen.
2013 US GP
Let's turn our attention to the year of Marc Márquez's debut in the top class, and the last year at Laguna Seca in the calendar. Stefan Bradl left at pole position on his Honda following a very encouraging weekend. Though the poleman managed to maintain the lead at the start, two strong competitors were fighting for it: Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi.
During the first laps, Rossi remained in second place, but, in the fourth lap, at the "corkscrew," Marc overtook the rider from Tavulia with a deft manoeuvre unique in all of MotoGP history up to that point. The sector, consisting of two close curves with a marked downward slope had seen only one overtaking at that time. The man responsible for this had been Rossi himself, and now he saw the tides turn against him, at the hands of a top-class rider.
After securing second place, Marc set out to reach Bradl, managing to overtake him on the nineteenth lap. Finally, the rider from Cervera crossed the finish line in first place, 2.2 seconds ahead of Stefan.
2017 Australian GP
How could we forget a race whose memory has become synonymous with the word "epic". During the 2017 Asia Tour, Marc was leading the championship, competing for the title against Andrea Dovizioso. Our rider left at pole position, but it was clear from the start that this would not be an easy race. An additional five riders joined the lead and none save Marc were competing for the title, all intent on winning.
What followed was a succession of overtakings, some of them very daring, that made the public tremble with emotion. On the final lap, all were putting the pressure on to try and secure the best position possible, or even a place at the podium, but number 93 was to have the honour of stepping up to the highest position. The first four riders crossed the finish line less than two seconds apart.
2018 Dutch GP
One thing about MotoGP is it never fails to surprise! Just look at the race in Assen 2018 for proof, seen by many as the best MotoGP race of all time. A group of seriously ambitious riders swarmed to the front of the pack, with at least six of them competing for first place. Jorge Lorenzo on the Ducati pulled away from the group throughout pretty much the entire race, while Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, and our very own Marc Márquez tried one after the other to get in front of him while also holding each other at bay with non-stop overtakes. As soon as these racing gladiators’ energy began to drain, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins doubled down and joined the battle with all the power they could muster.
As the race began to take its toll on the Ducati tyres, and the Yamahas and Suzukis found their rhythm on the track, the only question in people’s minds was how Marc’s Honda would cope. But our Number 93 had an ace up his sleeve, and just a few laps from the end he started to give it some gas, going on to take the lead and win the most exciting race we’ve seen for a while.
These are Repsol Honda's seven most epic races. What about you? What race did you find most exciting?