A second world championship for the consistent Eddie Lawson. After a dominating 1985 season, the future looked bright for Honda'sFreddie Spencer. However, once the season started, he began to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The talented American would never win another Grand Prix after his spectacular 1985 season. Australian Wayne Gardner stepped up to become Honda's lead rider. Randy Mamola, riding for the newly formed Kenny Roberts-Yamaha team continued to post good results and finished third in the points chase.
Venezuelan Carlos Lavado earned his second world championship for Yamaha with a strong performance. Garelli teammates Fausto Gresini and Luca Cadalora battled it out for the 125 title, each taking four wins with Cadalora coming out on top. Spain's Jorge Martinez ended Stefan Dörflinger's streak of title wins at four. Angel Nieto announced he was retiring after twenty-three years in Grand Prix racing. He continued to be competitive up to the end with a second-place finish in the Italian 125 race and a second in Spain in the 80cc class. His 90 Grand Prix victories at the time ranked him second only to Giacomo Agostini.