In recent days Repsol and Honda announced the renewal of their historic partnership for one more season. The Iberian oil company's sponsorship has spawned one of the most iconic color schemes in the motorcycle scene and beyond and is to date probably the most recognizable.
This is because, net of some changes made year after year, the root of the livery has remained roughly the same for the past 30 years.
There have been very few exceptions, and one of them marks the fourteenth anniversary at the very last race of the season in Valencia.
It was 2008 when the RC212Vs of Daniel Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden abandoned the classic mix of orange, red and dark blue in favor of an all-white scheme. Breaking it up longitudinally were a pair of thin bands ( one red and one blue) and a large rounded number plate on the fairing.
Reason for this choice was to commemorate the 40th year of Repsol's involvement in racing. To do so, it was chosen to replicate the color scheme brought to competition by the first cars of the Repsol Escuderia in the late 1960s. This stable was active in the field of rallying and brought Bmw 2002 Turbo, Porsche 911 Carrera, Renault 8 TS and many others to competition. All were characterized by immaculate bodies with the 2 stripes running the entire length of the vehicle, from the front bumper to the rear, slightly offset to the right.
The company's logo at the time was a simple capital R inside a blue circular shape in turn surrounded by a red concentric ring. Repsol was in fact the brand name for lubricants and fuels produced by "Repesa" Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras.
The "suit" brought good luck to the team with Pedrosa starring in a podium finish and Hayden fifth across the line in his last appearance on the Japanese bike before switching to Ducati.
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