Introduction | Machines | Riders | Races
Honda pays homage to all it’s GP winners, but here are six men who helped the marque to many, many crucial racetrack successes.


 

 

125 World Champion 1961
Six GP wins


Aussie Phillis was one of the first people to correctly judge Honda’s potential when the factory first contested the Isle of Man TT in 1959. He wrote a personal letter to Soichiro Honda and thus became Honda’s first gaijin World Championship rider and the first man to win a GP on a Honda. He won the ’61 125 title but was killed at the 1962 TT.


 

 

250 World Champion 1962
250 World Champion 1963
350 World Champion 1962
350 World Champion 1963
350 World Champion 1964
350 World Champion 1965
45 GP wins


Jim ‘Iron Man’ Redman is Honda’s most successful rider of all time, winning six world titles. British by birth but Rhodesian by nationality, he joined Honda in ’61 and took his first 250/350 double the following year. In ’63 he became rider/manager and repeated the double. A broken arm stopped him becoming Honda’s first 500 champ in ’66.


 

 

250 World Champion 1961
250 World Champion 1966
250 World Champion 1967
350 World Champion 1966
350 World Champion 1967
41 Honda GP wins


This wondrously skilled British rider was Honda’s first-ever World Champion – he won the 1961 250 title as a privateer, leasing a four-cylinder RC162 from Honda’s UK importers. But his real Honda years were 1966 and ’67, when he ruled the 250 and 350 series and came agonisingly close to winning Honda’s first 500 title in ’67.


 

 

500 World Champion 1983
500 World Champion 1985
250 World Champion 1985
27 GP wins


A rider of astonishing natural talent, Freddie Spencer had an up-and-down GP career, beset by injury and bad luck. At his best he was a genius, managing the unique feat of winning the 250 and 500 world titles in the same year. He raced his first GP for Honda aboard the NR500, then went on to develop the NS500 triple, NSR250 and NSR500.


 

 

500 World Champion 1994
500 World Champion 1995
500 World Champion 1996
500 World Champion 1997
500 World Champion 1998
54 GP wins


Mick Doohan ruled premier-class GP racing with an iron fist from 1994 to 1998, winning five back-to-back 500 crowns after coming back from an accident that nearly cost him his right leg. Incredibly determined, the Australian raced his entire 10-year career aboard Honda’s NSR500. He won 54 500 GPs, almost a tenth of Honda’s 600 GP successes.


 

 

500 World Champion 2001
MotoGP World Champion 2002
MotoGP World Champion 2003
33 Honda GP wins


Rossi raced with Honda for four seasons – the last two years of 500s and the first two years of MotoGP – and managed to score 33 premier-class wins aboard the NSR500 and RC211V. Revered for his mastery on the racetrack and adored in public, Rossi joined Honda when he graduated to 500s in 2000, having already captured the 125 and 250 titles.
 
 

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