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A decade of World Champions exchange memories at Catalunya

A decade of World Champions exchange memories at Catalunya

A decade of World Champions exchange memories at Catalunya

A unique and emotional press conference at the Circuit de Catalunya brought a decade of World Champions together to reminisce on a golden era for MotoGP racing and enjoy the dawn of a new and exciting future.

Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan and Alex Criville dominated the premier-class during the 1990s, maintaining a fierce rivalry and providing unforgettable racing for fans all over the world.

Rainey, who was left paralysed by a crash at Misano in 1993, warmed the hearts of the packed media centre with his first comment. "As you can see I don't get out and train as much as I used to but I'm enjoying life," smiled the American.

On the rivalry he used to enjoy with Schwantz and Doohan, as well as other greats such as Wayne Gardner and Eddie Lawson, Rainey commented: "If we ever conceded as much as one tenth to one another it was a disaster. It was so competitive. It is special to look back on it now, but at the time we were just making history."

Kevin Schwantz was asked to remember his favourite race, and he had no hesitation with the answer. "It was Suzuka back in 1991. I started at the front and went all the way to the back, but fought my way to the front again. All the guys were there and it was a great race – that stands out the most."

Asked where Valentino Rossi would finish in a race against the four men on stage, Schwantz joked: "I was once asked where he would finish in a race with me and Wayne, but with Mick and Alex here as well I would have to say he'd finish fifth."

Doohan remembered his battled with the two Americans at the start of his career well. "When I started racing I used to watch these guys and I couldn't believe what I saw. You'd see them go into a corner and think ‘there's no way he'll come out'. Wayne was about speed and consistency, whereas Kevin could just blow you away with sheer pace."

They were days that Criville remembered too, as he began his road to the final world title of the decade in 1999. "In 1992 when I started racing these guys it was a dream just to be on the podium. I learnt a lot during those years, especially from Mick because we used to do a lot of testing together, and in 1996 I changed my riding style. That enabled me to win the title in ‘99."

Watch the press conference in full and listen to more memoirs from Rainey, Schwantz, Doohan and Criville, as well as their thoughts on the current state of the championship and the talent of Valentino Rossi by clicking on the link at the top of the page.


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