With the prospect of Alex Marquez wrapping up the Moto3 title at Valencia, Honda issued a press release looking back at the history of brothers in racing:
MotoGP BROTHERS IN ARMS: A SIBLING HISTORY
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) has the chance to make history on Sunday by joining his brother Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) as a World Champion. Never before have two brothers won World Championships in motorcycle Grand Prix racing.
The super-successful siblings have already made history this season: at June's Catalan Grand Prix they became the first brothers to win Grand Prix races on the same day, Alex taking the Moto3 flag a few hours before Marc climbed the top step of the MotoGP podium.
Of course, the Marquez brothers are not the only siblings racing in MotoGP: Aleix and Pol Espargaro race each other in the premier class and there's a long history of motorcycle-mad brothers racing in Grand Prix racing.
If one day either the Espargaro or Marquez brothers climb onto a MotoGP podium together, they won't be the first to do so. That honour went to Argentinean riders Juan and Eduardo Salatino who finished second and third on their Nortons in the locally dominated 1962 Argentine 500 Grand Prix.
The first brothers to win Grand Prix races were Christian and Dominique Sarron, France's fastest brothers of the 1980s. Christian won seven 250 and 500 GPs and the 1984 250 world title while younger brother Dominique took four 250 wins and finished third in the 1986 250 series on his Honda NSR250.
In the 1990s Nobuatsu and Haruchika Aoki followed in the Sarron's wheel tracks. Older brother Nobuatsu won the 1993 Malaysian GP on an NSR250 and Haruchika followed that with nine 125 wins and the 1995 and 1996 world titles on his Honda RS125. Together with middle brother Takuma the trio were nicknamed the Fireball Brothers. Takuma was a factory Honda rider who achieved several 500 podium finishes with Honda. Nobuatsu also scored premier class podiums on an NSR500 and Haruchika took one 250 podium. Nobuatsu and Takuma were the last brothers to share a premier class podium at the Imola Grand Prix in 1997.
The list of other brothers who have shared Grand Prix racetracks is long and illustrious. Nicky Hayden has been a MotoGP full-timer since 2003 and has twice been joined on the grid by younger brother Roger Lee. Kurtis Roberts, younger brother of 2000 500 World Champion Kenny Roberts Junior, contested MotoGP in 2004 and 2007. Walter Villa won four world titles in the 250 and 350 classes during the 1970s while his brother Francesco scored several 125 podiums and later founded the Villa motorcycle marque.
Dutchmen Jurgen and Patrick van den Goorbergh were top 250 privateers during the 1990s. Frenchmen Jacques and Pierre Bolle were stars of the early 1980s 250 scene. Honda's 2009 250 World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama's brother Shuhei scored one 250 podium in 2006.
So far Carlos and David Checa are the only brothers to have achieved World Championship success in motorcycle roadracing. Carlos won three 500 GPs while his younger brother David rode several seasons in 250s. Later Carlos went on to win the World Superbike crown and David the World Endurance Championship.
Several successful World Champions have been joined in Grand Prix racing by siblings who didn't quite emulate their success. Mick Doohan won five consecutive 500 World Championships in the 1990s while his older brother Scott scored points in the 1994 Australian 500 GP; likewise, 15-time World Champion Giacomo Agostini's younger brother Felice scored points on only one occasion in the 1975 Italian 250 GP and Luis Lavado, brother of twice 250 World Champion Carlos, scored points once at the 1989 Brazilian GP.
Other Grand Prix racing brothers have included Irishmen Michael and Eugene Laverty, Australians Rob, Eric and Harry Hinton, South Africans Dave and Robbie Petersen, Frenchmen Bernard and Marc Garcia, Australians Murray and Jeff Sayle and of course Italian half-brothers Valentino Rossi and Luca Marini.