1998 Honda Motorcycles
Year of manufacture1998
The ex-Noboru 'Nobby' Ueda, Givi Racing
1998 Honda RS125R Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. JRO1-9510621
Purpose-built Grand Prix racing motorcycle
Campaigned by one of the top riders of the day
In-period Grand Prix history
Having left the market for over-the-counter road-race machines almost exclusively in Yamaha's hands for most of the 1970s, Honda returned with single-cylinder RS125 and twin-cylinder RS250 models. Although Honda's return to the Grand Prix scene with the overly complex NS500 four-stroke would prove abortive, the company's moto-cross programme ensured that it had not fallen behind its rivals in terms of two-stroke development. Based on moto-cross technology, the new RS duo soon had the better of their Yamaha equivalents and went on to dominate their respective classes in Grand Prix and national racing for much of the 1990s.
This particular RS125 was raced during the 1994 Grand Prix season by the Japanese rider, Noboru Ueda. Born on 23rd July 1967, 'Nobby' Ueda, as he was affectionately known, was exclusively a 125-class rider, beginning his Grand Prix career with a win in his debut race at the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix. For 1994 he joined the Givi-sponsored team, GBC Corse, run by the former MV Agusta race mechanic, Giancarlo Cecchini. 'Nobby' won three Grands Prix that year - Malaysia, Italy and France - and finished 2nd in the 125cc World Championship behind Kazuto Sakata. Although he never won the 125 World Championship, Ueda did finish 2nd again: in 1997, on that occasion behind Valentino Rossi. After a twelve-year career at Grand Prix level, he announced his retirement at the end of the 2002 season having won 13 Grand Prix races. Ueda now runs his own team - 'Team Nobby' - which competes in the All Japan Road Race Championship.
The machine offered here was raced by Ueda during the 1998 season, in the course of which he won only one Grand Prix: the Championship's second round in Malaysia. At the French Grand Prix he was among many riders that fell at the treacherous Paul Ricard circuit, sustaining injuries that forced him to sit out the next five rounds. At the season's end he finished 13th in the World Championship. It should be noted that this machine is currently fitted with a non-standard silencer.