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Alex Crivillé´s sporting career

Alex Crivillé´s sporting career

Alex Crivillé´s sporting career

Alex Crivillé has decided to bring an end to an international sporting career which dates back to 1987 and which includes World Championship titles in the 500 and 125cc categories. The Spanish rider contested his first Grand Prix in Jerez on an 80cc Derbi and took second place in what was his only race that season. The following year he was taken on full time by Derbi and finished runner-up in the 80cc category to Jorge Martínez 'Aspar'.

In 1989 he made the step up to the 125 class on a JJ Cobas machine and picked up nine podiums, including five wins, to become the youngest World Champion in the history of the sport at that time. A year later he progressed to 250 and spent two seasons in the class on a Yamaha and a JJ Cobas. He struggled to find a competitive package and his results suffered .

In 1992 Sito Pons initiated a golden era for Spanish motorcycling when he signed Crivillé up for his first season in the half-litre class. The man from Seva took his first podium that same year in Malaysia and became the first Spaniard to win a 500cc Grand Prix with victory in the Dutch TT at Assen. He continued his learning curve for a second year with Sito Pons before being incorporated into the official HRC squad.

Crivillé took 14 wins and 46 podiums in his time with Honda, a total which could have been even more impressive were it not for his all-powerful rival and team-mate Mick Doohan. In 1995 he made the podium on six occasions and consolidated his place in the elite class the following year with eleven further top three finishes and runner-up spot in the championship behind the Australian.

1997 was a tough year for Criville thanks to a serious accident in qualifying for the Dutch TT, although he did overcome his injuries to finish the season on a high note with victory at Phillip Island. In 1998 he led the title chase but saw his chances disappear when he was taken out by Fujiwara at the first corner of the Grand Prix of Catalunya. He ended the year in third but launched a successful title assault the following year when he took six race wins (four consecutively). A fall at Phillip Island had threatened to ruin his quest but he fought through injury in the final races of the season and was crowned 500cc World Champion in Rio on the 24th October.

Health problems that winter affected Criville throughout 2000, when he became increasingly frustrated at constant requests to Honda for the appropriate material to defend his title. Last season his relationship with HRC came to an end, the highlight of the year coming with second place at Brno just days after learning that his services would not be retained by the Japanese factory. After negotiating with Aprilia over the possibility of riding their new 4 stroke machine, Crivillé finally opted to race with Yamaha in the Luis d'Antín squad, but has been forced to withdraw with health problems.

MotoGP, 2002, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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