500 WINS WITH HONDA
HONDA’S 500 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WINS WITH CASTROL
1982 - 1988
When Honda returned to motorcycle competition in 1982 the racing partnership with Castrol was renewed and struck with immediate impact…
Competing now in the new 500GP series as well as the increasingly popular off road championships, Honda and Castrol once again became World Champions with Eddy Lejeune winning the World Trials Championship. Lejeune had eight wins in 1982 and another eight in 1983 providing him with back-to-back World titles. Lejeune’s Honda, with specially developed Castrol ‘TTS’ synthetic oil in the engine, proved to be the force to beat and with his hat-trick of world championships coming in 1984.
And whilst Lejeune ruled on the World Trials stage; Andre Malherbe and Dave Thorpe were enjoying superstar status in World Moto Cross, both winning a World Championship each; in 1984 and 1985 respectively.
Back in road racing there was another individual creating his own legend, a legend who’s name became synonymous with Honda and Castrol themselves…Fast Freddie Spencer…
Not since Jim Redman had one rider competed so successfully in two World Championships in one year as Spencer did in 1985. Having won the 500 championship already in 1983 with six individual race wins, he took on the 250 and 500 championships in 1985 and wiped the floor with the opposition.
Only team mate Toni Mang came close to him in the 250 championship, whilst Spencer, with Castrol ‘A747’ in his Honda machine, was unstoppable in the 500cc world championship. If it hadn’t been for Spencer of course, Toni Mang may well have been the darling of the 80’s. He won the 250 championship in 1987 having dominated the entire season.
Spencer was the last of Honda’s Grand Prix world champions who raced with Castrol as the Honda Castrol partnership began focussing it’s attentions on other international road racing competitions.
1988 - 2007
The World Superbike and World Supersport championships were too big an attraction to ignore - race bikes that weren’t two million dollars away from the equivalent road bike and an oil which you could buy off the shelf (albeit a couple of years later!) Honda and Castrol were quick to exploit this new channel to market opportunity and once again very quickly became winners…
1988 and 1989 saw Fred Merkel on his Honda RC30 take back to back World Superbike Championships. It was the beginning of a trend that would see the partnership take five outright World Championships over the next 14 years. Merkel who competed successfully for three years, was the beginning of the next stage in Honda’s relationship with Castrol.