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Alex Criville forced to take a break from racing due to medical condition

Alex Criville forced to take a break from racing due to medical condition

Alex Criville forced to take a break from racing due to medical condition

1999 500cc World Champion, Alex Criville, has been forced to withdraw temporarily from the MotoGP World Championship due to a physical problem that has affected him since his championship-winning season. The Spaniard, who travelled to Canada last week to see specialists, made his announcement during a specially arranged Press Conference at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, where IRTA tests are currently taking place.

The Catalan 31 year-old commented, 'I have been forced to take a break from my sporting career due to physical problems. Since 1999, I have had a condition whereby I temporarily lose consciousness from time to time. It is not serious, but after consulting the best specialists in the field I was advised to stop riding for a while, to take the time to relax and undergo the necessary tests.'

Alongside Criville at the conference were his Team Manager, Luis D'Antin, and the Team Doctor, Angel Villamor. The latter stated, 'We have until now been unable to ascertain the cause of these fainting incidents, and treatment has not been effective. We need to carry out tests that are more specific than before in order to determine the problem, and this cannot be done under the current circumstances.'

Criville, who over the winter had made the switch to Yamaha from Honda after ten years of association, made it clear that he was not intending to retire, and that this was simply a necessary break from the sport upon medical grounds. 'At the moment we cannot say how long this break will be for. Hopefully in half a year I will be fine, but we must take things step by step, and this is the first. My health is my main priority at the moment.'

Norick Abe's presence on the Valencia track made it clear that Team D'Antin still intend to perform their duties on the track, and the Team Manager himself remarked, 'Alex has our full support to take a break from the team and get back to being one hundred percent fit.' D'Antin admitted however that the team may be forced to look for a replacement rider until Criville is able to ride once more.

500cc, 2001

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