MotoGP75: the manufacturers and their legacy

The deeper dive into 75 years of racing continues with a focus on factories

As we celebrate the 75 years of competition that have brought us to 2024, we’re taking a deeper dive into some of the facts and stats – continuing with a focus on factories. Check them out and then head to our all-new 75th anniversary page to enjoy some of the best content from then and now, with plenty more to be added throughout the season.

The manufacturers are a core part of what makes MotoGP™ what it is and each already has a long legacy, even those whose MotoGP™ debuts are fresh in the memory.

When the first motorsport World Championship began in 1949, it was Norton who won the first 500cc GP and AJS who won the first 500cc crown. In the 350cc class the first GP winning factory was Velocette, and that was also the very first race counting towards the Championship, on the 13th of June 1949. The same factory also took the crown. In the 250cc class, meanwhile, Moto Guzzi won the first race and first title, and in the 125cc class it was Mondial who won the first race, which took place later in the season in July, and Championship.

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Now, the grid looks quite different. From the giants who’ve raced for decades to the factories who are newer to the MotoGP™ grid – but very much making waves – here’s a look through our fabulous five constructors who’ll be making more history in 2024.

APRILIA

The first race for Aprilia was in 1985 in the 250cc class, with rider Loris Reggiani. And their first win came two years later in the same class as the very same Reggiani took victory in the 1987 San Marino GP. By 1992, the Noale factory were celebrating their first riders’ crown as Alessandro Gramigni won the 1992 125cc Championship.

In 1995, the Noale factory added their first constructors’ crown, coming out on top in the 250cc class.

Their first premier class win came recently as Aleix Espargaro took that emotional victory at the 2022 Argentina GP – and he’s won two more since. Will Aprilia add more accolades to their MotoGP™ legacy in 2024?

DUCATI

Did you know Ducati’s first Grand Prix was actually in 1956? Sandro Artusi raced in the Nations GP in the 125cc class. And their first win in any class was the 1958 Belgian GP as Alberto Gandossi took victory in the 125cc class.

For the premier class, the story moves to the start of an era all fans will know. Loris Capirossi took the factory’s first premier class win when he won at Cayalunya in 2003, and Casey Stoner took their first MotoGP™ riders’ crown in 2007. The same year, they also won their first constructors’ crown, in MotoGP™.

In 2022 Pecco Bagnaia became the second MotoGP™ World Champion with the factory, and his defense of the crown in 2023 means he’s the first to take back-to-back Championships.

HONDA

The factory with the most wins was also the first of our grid now to take a victory. Ater entering their first GP race in 1959 in the 125cc class, Honda won by 1961 when Tom Phillis took to the top step in the 125cc class. 1961 then became an even bigger year for the factory as they took not just their first riders’ Championship, but their first two: Mike Hailwood won the 250cc crown, and Tom Phillis won the 125cc crown. Honda also took their first constructors’ titles that season in the 125cc and 250cc classes to complete an incredible year.

In 1966, Jim Redman added their first premier class win at the West German GP.

Honda are the factory with the most Grand Prix wins so far. They have a staggering 821 victories accrued across all classes, of which 313 are in the premier class.

KTM

The Austrian factory arrived in Grand Prix racing in 2003, taking part in the Japanese GP in the 125cc class. In a pattern that would become even more familiar, it didn’t take long for them to win either, taking victory in the Malaysian GP in 2004, in the 125cc class with none other than Casey Stoner.

Their first constructors’ title came in 2005in the 125cc class, and when it became Moto3™ in 2012, KTM made their own history alongside the new era as Sandro Cortese won the Championship for the Austrian factory’s first riders’ crown.

Their first premier class win was also the first premier class win for a South African rider as then-rookie Brad Binder stole the show at Brno in 2020.

YAMAHA

Yamaha are another with a long, long history in the sport. Their first race was the 1961 French GP, with Fumio Ito in the 250cc class. Their first win came soon after with victory in the 1963 Belgian GP, again with Fumio Ito in the 250cc class.

The next milestone was the first riders’ Championship in 1964 when Phil Read won the 250cc crown, and the Iwata marque also took their first constructors’ crown in the same year and class.

Their first premier class win was the 1972 Spanish GP, with Chas Mortimer at the helm.