Alex Crivillé rode his 1999 500cc World Championship-winning Repsol Honda NSR500 at Motegi today (Saturday).
The Spaniard completed two laps as part of the track's ten-year anniversary of GP racing - Motegi having hosted its first motorcycle grand prix in 1999.
"Riding the bike brought back many good and happy memories," smiled Crivillé. "I think the NSR500 is probably one of the greatest motorcycles ever made, and it was good to see the fans enjoying the sound of the 500 once more.
"I have my other 1999 NSR at home in Spain. This bike is looked after by the Honda Collection Hall and it felt good. The engine still makes very good power - I had a small slide on my first lap. I got on the gas and had some wheelspin, so I told myself to be careful. These bikes have no traction control!
"Compared to the modern MotoGP machines, everything is different, the 500 doesn't have any engine braking, and the powerband is narrower than that of the four-strokes."
Crivillé rode for the Repsol Honda team for seven seasons, winning 14 of his 15 GPs for the team, including six victories during his title-winning year.
The NSR500 was replaced by the RC211V when the four-stroke MotoGP class began in 2002.