The 1999 version of this motorcycle features mechanics cultivated over years of competition. This is particularly true of the engine, which due to a rule change in 1998 was altered to use unleaded fuel only. In contrast, the suspension remained largely unchanged, consisting of an inverse telescopic system on the front and a pro-link system on the rear. Only some minor changes were made to the geometry of this system, ensuring reliable braking ideal for competitive conditions. As in 1998, Michael Doohan, Alex Criville, and Tadayuki Okada make up the Repsol Honda NSR 500 riding team. At the 3rd GP in Spain, top contender Doohan was involved in a serious accident. His teammate Criville, however, finished with a victory in that race, and later extended his winning streak to four victories, crossing the finish line first at the 4th GP in France, the 5th GP in Italy and the 6th GP in Catalonia.