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Repsol: 40 years making history in the Motorcycling World Championship

Repsol: 40 years making history in the Motorcycling World Championship

The Spanish energy company celebrates four decades in the Motorcycling World Championship, during which it has achieved 25 titles across all categories.

Repsol has been present in the sports sponsoring world since 1969, and two years later entered the two-wheeled world.

Ángel Nieto, Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’, Sito Pons, Álex Crivillé, Emilio Alzamora, Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Márquez… Great names of motorcycling history both in Spain and abroad, with something in common: all of them were or still are Repsol riders. The sport’s history has been written during the four decades in which Repsol has been confirmed as one of the longest-living sponsors.

Everything started in 1971, when a young Ángel Nieto wore for the first time an ‘R’ on his Derbi machine’s fairing. Forty years ago (May 9th, 1971) at the Austrian track of Salzburgring the first round of the season took place. On that date Repsol’s unbeatable track record started to be forged. Ángel Nieto got on the podium twice that day: second place in the 50cc category and first in 125cc. In the end, he would take his first title in the 125cc class and would be runner-up in the smaller category. A successful start for Repsol, which thus began its sponsorship of motorcycling competitions.

Nevertheless, the first to wear the Repesa logo –Repsol’s embryo− were rally drivers Alberto Ruíz Giménez, Eladio Doncel and José Manuel Lencina, who in 1969 competed with cars of the Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands. That original design, which Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso used at the Valencia Grand Prix in 2008, is alive today in the Repsol Classic Team cars.

Cradle of champions
Since the debut of Ángel Nieto with the energy company, the Repsol riders have constantly been protagonists in the sport’s history. Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’ achieved the 1988 title of the 80cc and 125cc classes. That same year, Sito Pons, with his Honda NSR 250, took the 250cc title sporting Campsa’s livery.

However, it was the premiere category that saw the true emergence of Repsol as an international sponsor. In 1995, the company linked its sponsoring strategy to the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) factory team and, together with Mick Doohan, Álex Crivillé and riders such as Tadayuki Okada and Takuma Aoki, dominated the second half of the decade.

The alliance of Repsol and Honda has continued up to the present day, always at the highest level: it has produced nine Rider World Championships and the same number of Constructors titles. Australian Mick Doohan was Champion for the four years he wore the Repsol livery. Crivillé took over and in 1999 won the 500cc title, and was the first Spaniard to win the premier class title.

That very same season, Emilio Alzamora, another Repsol rider, took the 125cc World Championship. Two years later, in 2001, the 500cc class saw Valentino Rossi take the title, again with Repsol’s support. In 250cc, Daijiro Kato achieved the title and in the two following years Rossi kept dominating the highest class, this time on a 990cc machine. And at the same time Dani Pedrosa made his World Championship debut, winning the 125cc class.

The rider from Castellar del Vallés (Barcelona), now in the MotoGP Repsol Honda Team, took another victory in 2005 in the intermediate class for the second year in a row. Since then he has shown that he is one of the most skilled riders of the World Championship. In 2006, Nicky Hayden also took the Repsol colours to the highest place by achieving the MotoGP title.

The latest addition to this list of Champions is Marc Márquez, who last year broke many records on his way to the 125cc title. This season, the Repsol Honda Team is being consolidated as the most powerful team of the class with an impressive line-up; Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso, who have already taken two victories in the first three races of 2011.

During these 42 years in competition and four decades in the Motorcycling World Championship, the Repsol name has been consolidated as one of the most prominent among the fans, no longer being a simple sponsor but a symbol of the highest level of competition and a synonym of innovation, technology and excellence in fuels for the most demanding sports competitions.

Repsol’s track record in the Motorcycle World Championship:

50cc
1972 Ángel Nieto (Derbi)

80cc
1988 Jorge Martínez “Aspar” (Derbi)

125cc
1971 Ángel Nieto (Derbi)
1972 Ángel Nieto (Derbi)
1981 Ángel Nieto (Minarelli)
1982 Ángel Nieto (Garelli)
1983 Ángel Nieto (Garelli)
1988 Jorge Martínez “Aspar” (Derbi)
1989 Álex Crivillé (JJ-Cobas)
1999 Emilio Alzamora (Honda RS 125)
2003 Dani Pedrosa (Honda RS 125)
2010 Marc Márquez (Derbi RSA)

250cc
1988 Sito Pons (Honda NSR 250)
1989 Sito Pons (Honda NSR 250)
2001 Daijiro Kato (Honda NSR 250)
2005 Dani Pedrosa (Honda RSW 250)

500cc
1995 Mick Doohan (Honda NSR 500)
1996 Mick Doohan (Honda NSR 500)
1997 Mick Doohan (Honda NSR 500)
1998 Mick Doohan (Honda NSR 500)
1999 Álex Crivillé (Honda NSR 500)
2001 Valentino Rossi (Honda NSR 500)

MotoGP
2002 Valentino Rossi (Honda RC211V)
2003 Valentino Rossi (Honda RC211V)
2006 Nicky Hayden (Honda RC211V)

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011

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