Over the weekend Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa attended the 2016 Honda Racing Thanks Day at Motegi, Japan. The event, a traditional part of the Company’s racing year, brings together official riders and drivers from Honda’s various motorsport programmes.
The event marks the end of the racing season and this year offered Honda a very special reason to celebrate: World Championship victories in MotoGP, Trial and MXGP. This is the first time in motorcycling history that a constructor has achieved such success.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marquez and team-mate Pedrosa began this special weekend by attending the HRC Thanks Dinner in Tokyo’s Cerulean Tower Hotel on Friday, alongside HRC Trials riders Toni Bou, Takashisa Fujinami and Jaime Busto, HRC MXGP rider Evgeny Bobryshev and many others. Sadly, MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser had to stay home sick.
On Saturday Marc, Dani and their racing colleagues moved to the Motegi Twin Ring Circuit, where Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button joined them for a day on track, riding and driving various motorcycles and other machines.
Today’s fine weather prompted around 20,000 fans to attend the event, the crowd packing the grandstands to follow the action and cheer their heroes. Marc and Dani had a fun day on amazing four- and two-wheels machines. In the morning they took part in a kart race, then changed into their leathers to ride CBR250 Dream Cup machines. After that Dani took to the track on the RS125R he used to win the 2003 125cc World Championship, while Marc rode a historic Honda RC142. The Repsol Honda men also raced Honda CR-Z 1.5 Sport Hybrids before climbing aboard their RC213V MotoGP machines for another run.
Fernando Alonso didn’t miss the chance to have a ride on the 2016 World Champion’s MotoGP bike, sporting beautiful HRC livery, while Marc rode alongside him on another RC213V and Dani and Jenson Button drove Honda NSX Concept-GT cars. All four riders and drivers enjoyed themselves hugely while entertaining the enthusiastic crowd.