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Old 12-07-2015, 07:40 PM   #1
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Marquez and Pedrosa get to ride NSR500 two-stroke GP bike at Honda Thanks Day

Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez (right) and Dani Pedrosa (left) got their first opportunity to ride the vaunted NSR500 V-four two-stroke Grand Prix bike during the Honda Racing Thanks Day recently held at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan. Pedrosa was aboard the '84 version that former world champion Freddie Spencer rode (with the ill-fated fuel tank underneath the engine concept), while Marquez rode Spencer's '85 NSR500.

Honda Racing recently held its annual "Honda Racing Thanks Day" event in Japan where numerous current Honda motorcycle riders and automobile drivers get together for a fun day of track activities at Honda's Twin Ring Motegi circuit to thank all the fans and colleagues of Honda for the season. As part of the festivities, Repsol Honda MotoGP riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were given the unique opportunity to ride the first versions of Honda's vaunted NSR500 V-four two-stroke Grand Prix machine; Pedrosa rode the 1984 version with the ill-fated "upside-down" concept of having the expansion chamber exhausts run over the top of the engine with the fuel tank carried underneath, while Marquez rode the 1985 NSR500 that was part of former World Champion Freddie Spencer's historical double 500cc/250cc World Championship season. Although both bikes are basically '80s technology and were shod with street-legal tires instead of slicks (presumably to keep the riders from getting too frisky on them and damaging priceless bikes on loan from Honda's own museum on the circuit premises), both riders were excited to try the big multi-cylinder two-strokes for the first time.

Marquez and Pedrosa qualified first and second for the CBR250 Dream Cup exhibition race, which they went to finish in the reverse order despite being forced to start from the back row as a handicap.

"Once again weíve had a good time at the Honda thanks day," said Marquez afterward. "Itís a nice opportunity to meet the other HRC and Honda riders and have a chance to ride and drive many vehicles! Of course this included riding our MotoGP machine, but also the CBR 250, the new Honda NSX and the unbelievable NSR500! Itís been great to spend this time with the Honda family and I look forward to next year! This is the last event of the year for me and Honda, so I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year! Letís hope 2016 is a good year for all of us."

Marquez carves through the field in the CBR250 Dream Cup exhibition race, with Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa (26) not far behind.

"Itís been a really good weekend," Pedrosa said. "I had the chance to have some fun and behave like a kid once again, playing with some very special toys! We drove some great cars and also had a chance to ride the NSR500, whilst enjoying ourselves with other riders and drivers. It was good to hang out together, talk about our seasons and see drive Hondaís new and old vehicles! Iíd like to take this final chance to wish all our fans a very Merry Christmas!"

McLaren Honda F1 star Fernando Alonso was given the opportunity to ride the RC213V MotoGP machine, with Marquez driving the 650-hp Honda NSX Concept GT car as well. The two Spanish motorsports stars exchanged helmets at the conclusion of the event.

McLaren Honda F1 star Fernando Alonso got the chance to do some laps on a Honda RC213V MotoGP bike, while Marc Marquez had the opportunity to drive a few laps in the 650-hp-plus NSX Concept GT car as well.

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