Perfect end to 2019 for Triple Crown winners Repsol Honda Team as Lorenzo says good bye

Jorge Lorenzo ended an incredible 18-year Grand Prix career with an emotional Valencia race, helping the Repsol Honda Team to clinch the Triple Crown alongside another dominating Marquez win.

For the third year in succession the Repsol Honda Team celebrate the end of a MotoGP season with the Triple Crown after winning the Riders, Teams and Constructors Championships. The accomplishment completes an incredible year full of records and achievements as Honda celebrates their 60th anniversary of racing.

Marquez made quick work of the riders ahead of him as the lights went out on the final race of 2019, moving into second place on the third lap. With just Fabio Quartararo ahead of him, Marquez methodically cut the gap from almost a second to just two tenths in five laps. Striking at Turn 11, Marquez only needed one chance to move to the front and quickly amassed an insurmountable lead.

A 12th victory signs off Marquez’s 2019 season in perfect style and matches the number of wins he achieved in his dominating 2014 season. Earning 420 points across the 19 races of 2019, Marquez becomes the first rider in history to score more than 400 points in a single season. With his 95th premier class podium, he draws level with Mick Doohan as the second most prolific Honda podium finisher in the premier class.

After 297 Grand Prix starts, Jorge Lorenzo’s marked the end of his legendary MotoGP World Championship career with his best finish since returning from injury. The five-time World Champion bid a fond farewell to Grand Prix racing with a 13th place finish in front of an adoring Spanish crowd. With 68 wins, 152 podiums and 69 poles, Lorenzo bows out with some the most impressive stats to his name in Grand Prix history.

This is the Repsol Honda Team’s ninth Triple Crown since the MotoGP class began in 2002, cementing them the most dominant team and constructor in the premier class. For the first time in the four-stroke era, the team has managed to take three Triple Crowns in a row.

Riders will be back out on track on Tuesday, November 19 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the first test of 2020 before moving to Jerez a few days later.

Jorge Lorenzo retires from MotoGP

After 17 years – and 18 seasons – in the MotoGP™ paddock, five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has announced his retirement. The Spaniard was joined by Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in a Press Conference called at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia to break the news, bringing the curtain down on an incredible career.

Lorenzo made his debut in the 125cc World Championship in 2002, missing the first day of his first Grand Prix because he was still too young. But his 15th birthday fell on qualifying day and the young Spaniard headed out to do the first laps of what would go on to become one of the most successful careers of all-time. By his fourth race he had scored his first points, and his best finish that year was seventh, taken in Rio de Janeiro. A year later in Rio, he would win his first Grand Prix.

From there the momentum would grow. Three wins and four further podiums in the 125cc World Championship the following year saw him finish fourth overall, setting solid foundations for a move onto 250cc machinery in 2005. There he took six podiums as a rookie, and his first titles were just around the corner as he began 2006 with back to back wins. He’d wrack up another six by the end of the year, taking his very first World Championship after a stunning season that announced him as a serious force to be reckoned with. In 2007 he stayed in the class to defend the crown and did so, this time with an incredible nine wins. From there, MotoGP™ beckoned with Yamaha.

There are few better ways to make a splash in the premier class than taking pole for your first race, and that’s exactly what Lorenzo did – setting a new lap record that stood for ten years. He was on the podium in both of his first MotoGP™ races too before taking to the top step for the first time on only his third appearance. That was at Estoril, as he beat two men he’d continue to compete with for years to come: Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi, then his teammate. Injury struggles and crashes would mar the rest of 2008 for Lorenzo as Rossi lifted the crown, but 2009 saw the Spaniard bounce back and make his first run at defeating the then eight-time World Champion on the other side of the garage. Rossi was victorious, but 2010 would turn the tables.
Lorenzo took podiums in the first 12 races of that year, only one of which was a third place. Seven were wins. By Malaysia, it was match point and the number 99 wrapped it up with another podium, becoming a MotoGP™ World Champion for the first time. He also rounded out the season with another two wins to make it nine victories.

2011 was more difficult. As great rival Casey Stoner took back to the top, the bad luck that had hit Rossi the year before hit Lorenzo, and the Spaniard ceded the title fight after a crash at Phillip Island. But 2012 saw him back in the running from the off as he won the season opener, and he took podiums in every single race bar two – including six wins. At Phillip Island, he was crowned a two-time MotoGP™ World Champion, and then came 2013: a new era in the premier class.

In 2013, Stoner retired, Rossi returned to Yamaha – and Marc Marquez made his debut in MotoGP™. The year became the reigning Champion vs the rookie, with the battle going all the way down to Valencia and the season finale. Marquez would ultimately come out on top, but Lorenzo would do everything he could to take him on – and some career-defining moments and races were created on the way.

The journey to the final round wasn’t a smooth one for the number 99. The first hurdle was a collarbone broken on Thursday at the TT Circuit Assen. Lorenzo had already made a number of iron man-esque performances in his career, but this was another level. After having the collarbone plated after the crash, the number 99 returned to the track to race – and came fifth. It was a stunning statement of intent that he wouldn’t go down without a fight.

The next hurdle, however, came soon after. Another big crash at the Sachsenring damaged the collarbone once again and Lorenzo was forced to forfeit the round, but he was back by Laguna Seca and back on the podium at Indianapolis. Silverstone then staged one of the greatest races of all time as he and Marquez traded provisional pole on Saturday and duelled it out to the line on Sunday. Lorenzo was a man on a mission and a stunning move from the number 99 that put him back on the top step and back in the game. Drama for Marquez in Australia saw the rookie disqualified for making a mandatory pit stop at the wrong time – and as the number 93 took home a 0, Lorenzo won. By the season finale, all Lorenzo could do to try and take the crown was win the race, and that he did. It wasn’t quite enough, but the season was an instant classic.

2014 saw Marquez hit top gear, with Lorenzo only winning his first race of the season at Aragon and the momentum remaining with the number 93. But 2015 would flip the form book once again as Lorenzo became the only man to beat Marquez to the crown so far – and the only other name on the trophy since 2011. The season was Lorenzo vs Rossi and one of the most dramatic ever, although it was Marquez and Rossi in the spotlight for a number of incidents. The biggest of which was at Sepang as the two clashed, leaving the Italian with the penalty of starting the season finale from the back of the grid. And Lorenzo? He would aim to take his third premier class crown from pole, and did so with his seventh win of the season.

2016 was another slightly tougher year, but the Spaniard once again took a slew of wins and podiums. And the last win of the season at Valencia was also his last with Yamaha as nine seasons together came to an end after 44 wins, 107 podiums and 39 pole positions. Now, Lorenzo would race in red.

His switch to Ducati was tougher at first, although a first podium wasn’t long in coming as he took third on home turf at Jerez. Flashes of speed shone through but it wasn’t till Aragon that Lorenzo was back on the rostrum, taking another third place, and he was close to the win at a wet Sepang later in the season. A warning shot for his rivals came at the same venue at the start of 2018 as Lorenzo smoked the lap record in testing.

It would take a few more races of speed that the ‘Spartan’ struggled to convert into podiums before a switch suddenly seemed to flick – and what a place for everything to come together. Mugello, Ducati’s home Grand Prix, had seen Lorenzo master its curves on many a Sunday. And he did so once again for an emotional first win in red, destroying the opposition. Was this the start of something? Another win at Catalunya said it may well be.

Another of Lorenzo’s best races came later in the season as he won a stunning showdown at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, taking victory from Marquez by only just over a tenth. His final win so far, it was also another rider-defining display of excellence. At Buriram, injury would then strike, and a difficult period followed.

For 2019, the five-time World Champion took on another new challenge as he moved to partner Marquez at Repsol Honda and once again began to adapt to another new bike. But injury struggles struck again, and broken vertebrae interrupted the season, necessitating a long recovery. Although Lorenzo once again showed his mettle as he returned to race, the number 99 announced his retirement at the end of the season at the final race – bowing out on home turf, and one of the venues he has ruled.

Source: MotoGP

HRC complete Official WorldSBK line-up for 2020 with announcement of Leon Haslam

2019 EICMA Show, Milan (Italy): Following yesterday’s 2020 Honda New Models Press Presentation, where the World Premiere unveiling of the sensational new CBR1000RR-R was the highlight of event, this morning the 2020 HRC Teams and Riders Presentation took place in the presence of Managing Officer, Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations of Honda Motor Co. Noriaki Abe, President and Representative Director, Honda Racing Corporation Yoshishige Nomura.

Made even more special by the celebration this year of the 60th anniversary of Honda’s racing activities, the presentation once again brought together riders of the official HRC teams competing in the top motorsport championships worldwide – including the 2019 World Championship-winning triple of Marc Marquez (MotoGP), Tim Gajser (MXGP), and Toni Bou (Trial).

It was the perfect stage for Mr. Abe to announce the signing of Leon Haslam to partner recently announced Alvaro Bautista in the strong line-up of the HRC’s Official WorldSBK team in 2020.

We will join WorldSBK with our new CBR1000RR-R with HRC factory team”, Mr. Abe commented. “We are happy to announce that we just fixed the rider line-up, with Leon Haslam becoming team-mate with Alvaro Bautista. I expect to see our WorldSBK riders fighting for victory”.

For me to get the opportunity to be back with Honda and, most importantly, as an official rider with HRC back in the championship with a factory team, is like a dream come true” said Leon Haslam. “It’s so exciting to be involved in the project and already I’m thinking about when I can ride the bike and get to Phillip Island, one of my favourite tracks, for the first race. I can’t wait to ride the CBR1000RR-R. A new bike means that we’re looking at a big challenge of course, but the project is extremely professional, and we all know what Honda and HRC are capable of. What they have achieved in the racing world speaks for itself. It’s really a fantastic opportunity for me, and I’m ready to give it my all, for the team, the company and all our fans around the world”.


Full details of the HRC Official WorldSBK team will be announced at the team launch before the start of the 2020 WorldSBK season.

CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP headline Honda’s 2020 EICMA line-up

  • The all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and Fireblade SP are revealed, offering unprecedented levels of track-focused performance
  • New frame and engine draw strongly on Honda’s RC213V MotoGP technology; peak power increases by 13% to 160kW
  • The perennially popular SH125i and SH150i are completely upgraded with new design, more power and storage space, and increased fuel efficiency
  • The CMX500 Rebel compact cruiser receives upgrades including full LED lighting, slipper clutch, gear position indicator and a new factory-fit accessories pack
  • The new CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports make their first European motor show appearance
  • New colour schemes and cosmetic updates for the CB1000R Neo Sports Café flagship

Honda today reveals its full 2020 European motorcycle line-up at EICMA in Milan. Headlined by a brand-new flagship model, the additions to Honda’s product range for 2020 span the worlds of racing, adventure, roadsters and commuters.

CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP

For 28 years the words ‘Honda Fireblade’ have been synonymous with perfect handling, balance and sheer riding enjoyment. For 2020, Honda starts a new chapter in the Fireblade’s illustrious history with a new machine that is ‘Born to Race’.

Heavily inspired by the RC213V MotoGP machine and its street legal RC213V-S counterpart, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is powered by the most powerful inline four cylinder engine that Honda has ever made. Sharing the same bore and stroke as the RC213V-S, the 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade delivers maximum power of 160kW @ 14500rpm and peak torque of 113Nm at 12500rpm while tipping the scales at only 201kg.

The CBR1000RR-R will also be available in an SP variant. Complete with second generation semi-active Öhlins Electronic Control featuring 43mm NPX forks and Öhlins TTX36 Smart-EC rear shock, new Brembo Stylema four-piston radial-mounted front calipers and the same rear Brembo caliper as used on the RC213V-S.

In both variants, a cutting-edge aerodynamic package – also influenced by HRC’s multiple championship-winning RC213V – works in tandem with a new Bosch six-axis IMU. This replaces the five-axis unit of the previous design, giving supremely precise calculations of yaw, pitch and roll to allow even finer control of bike behaviour for unprecedented levels of handling and outright performance.

In line with Honda’s mass centralisation philosophy, both the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade and CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP are equipped with a lightweight titanium Akrapovic exhaust end can. Both will be available in two colour schemes: an HRC-inspired Grand Prix Red and a Matte Pearl Black.


The market leading SH125i is practically a brand-new machine for 2020. Building on a million-selling heritage stretching back to the SH50 introduced in 1984, for 2020 the SH125i is equipped with a more powerful and efficient engine mated to a sleek, restyled body that offers over 50% more storage space thanks to its redesigned frame.

A new four-valve ‘eSP+’ EURO5 compliant engine powers the 2020 SH125i. Providing more top end power and stronger acceleration, the new engine also returns even greater fuel-efficiency than the outgoing model. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) now joins Idling Stop as standard fitment.

The new redesigned frame not only improves handling, but also frees up extra and ever-useful internal storage space, with the SH now offering up to 28L of under seat storage. The inclusion of a USB charger, Honda Smart Key – which now operates together with the new Smart top box – and the optimisation of the rear suspension geometry enhance both practicality and comfort.

For 2020 the SH125i will again be joined by the SH150i, featuring all the same exciting updates and innovations.

CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports

The recently revealed CRF1100L Africa Twin and CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports will also make their European motor show debut at EICMA.

Powered by a lighter more powerful 1100cc parallel twin engine – increasing both power and torque while meeting Euro5 requirements – both versions of the Africa Twin use a lighter, narrower frame, improving both agility and comfort.  A first for Honda, the Africa Twin comes complete with a new 6.5in TFT colour touchscreen interface.

At the heart of each bike is a cutting-edge electronics package complete with a new six-axis IMU, which guides the Honda Selectable Torque Control, Wheelie and Rear Lift Control and Cornering ABS, while also allowing more intuitive gear shifts from the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) system.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin – available in Grand Prix Red and Matte Ballistic Black – is primed for off-road adventure, with rally style body work, a slender 18.8L tank, low fixed screen and tubed tyres as standard.

The CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports stands apart from the base Africa Twin, coming fully equipped for the long haul with a five-stage adjustable screen, three stage cornering lights, tubeless tyres and a 24.8L tank. For 2020, the Adventure Sports comes with optional Showa Electronic Equipped Rider Adjustment suspension ensuring the perfect ride no matter the road conditions. It’s available in Pearl Glare White Tricolour and Darkness Black Metallic.

CMX500 Rebel

Honda’s A2 licence friendly 500cc parallel twin-cylinder compact cruiser receives a round of updates for 2020. Benefiting from revised suspension, full LED lighting – including a distinctively redesigned round headlight – a new gear position indicator, slipper clutch, more comfortable seat and new exhaust, the CMX500 Rebel is also now Euro5 compliant.  The CMX500 Rebel S Edition comes in Matte Axis Grey Metallic with a new set of factory-fitted accessories, including headlight cowl, all-black fork covers and gaiters, plus a diamond-stitch style seat.


Honda’s flagship Neo Sports Café naked machine – the CB1000R – combines classic lines with a modern feel and exhilarating performance. Since its 2018 introduction, it has inspired a wide range of customisations, and for 2020, subtle cosmetic changes further enhance its premium look and commanding road presence.

Replacing silver accents, an all black triple clamp and stem are complemented by a new Metallic Matte Ballistic Black headlight surround. Colour changes to the rear spring and front brake discs are capped off with a striking silver racing stripe running up the spine of the fuel tank.

Stay tuned for more updates from ECIMA over the next few days…