Among Japanese makes, Yamaha was the newcomer and Honda the old hand, having first raced in a GP four years earlier. In 1961 Hailwood had given Honda its first 250 championship, and by the end of 1963 Jim Redman would give the brand two more. While Honda’s 250 made roughly 45 hp at this point, Yamaha had somehow achieved high-speed reliability at close to 50 hp. The flexibility of Honda’s 14,000-rpm four-valve four-strokes gave them advantages in early acceleration off corners, but the sheer power of Yamaha’s fast-developing two-stroke was unmatched. Englishman Phil Read would win the next two 250 titles for Yamaha on the RD56.