Victory in Sunday's 250cc Australian Grand Prix handed Dani Pedrosa
a third successive world title and Honda its landmark 600th win in motorcycle grand prix competition.
20-year-old Pedrosa - who will move up to MotoGP with Honda next season - took a shock victory by overtaking Aprilia rival Sebastian Porto on the run to the chequered flag, the Spaniard sealing a triple celebration in the process.
"This is a great day for everyone and to be the rider to give Honda its 600th win means the day could hardly be any better. I was aware of the 600th win and that I could win the title but to actually achieve everything is a fantastic feeling," said Dani.
"What an exceptional day. Even in the closing stages of the race I really thought Dani would be clinching the world title today," claimed team manager Alberto Puig, even though Pedrosa's pit board was telling him second place was OK. "Add to that Honda's 600th win and it makes a complete day - I am very proud to witness all of this and to be a part of it."
Honda, which recorded its first GP victory in 1961, is the most successful manufacturer in the 56-year history of the sport. For Takeo Fukui, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., this latest milestone was a credit for all those who have played a part in the company's racing activities.
"This is a fantastic milestone for Honda in Grand Prix racing and something which all racing fans and Honda customers are a part of," he said. "To reach 600 wins in Grand Prix racing serves as a testament to so many Honda riders, a wide variety of Honda racing machines, hundreds of Honda engineers and everyone in the last 50 years who has contributed towards making this possible."
"This is a very proud moment for Honda and for the Honda Racing Corporation," added Suguru Kanazawa, president of HRC (lower pic). "Achieving this record of 600 Grand Prix victories emphasises the commitment from Honda to continue its research and development in the most hotly-contested environment of world championship competition. This same approach and desire brought Honda the very first GP win in 1961 and it has brought the 600th win today, 45 years later."Honda's motorcycle grand prix milestones:
1st win: Tom Phillis
AUS 125cc Spanish Grand Prix (23/4/1961)
100th win: Luigi Taveri
SWI 50cc Dutch TT (25/6/1966)
200th win: Jim Filice
USA 250cc American Grand Prix (10/04/1988)
300th win: Alex Criville
SPA 500cc Dutch TT (27/6/1992)
400th win: Haruchika Aoki
JAP 125cc Brazilian Grand Prix (6/10/1996)
500th win: Valentino Rossi
ITA 500cc Japanese Grand Prix (8/4/2001)
600th win: Dani Pedrosa
SPA 250cc Australian Grand Prix (16/10/2005)