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On this day in 1996: Crivillé beats Doohan

On this day in 1996: Crivillé beats Doohan

Although the MotoGP World Championship teams and riders are currently enjoying their holidays and a well-earned rest ahead of the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky on 22nd August, eight years ago today the season was in full swing.

On the 4th August 1996 the A1-Ring circuit in Zeltweg, Austria, played host to the tenth round of the season, when Alex Criville beat Mick Doohan for the first time in a straight head-to-head.

Crivillé had already taken his first win at Assen in 1992, when he was joined on the podium by John Kocinski and Alex Barros, and eventually followed up with a second victory ahead of Shinichi Itoh and Loris Capirossi at Catalunya in 1995.

However, it was his third victory which finally saw the young Spaniard emerge from the shadow of team-mate Doohan and establish himself as a true title contender, clinching the win by just 0.5 seconds after a close battle.

Two weeks later Crivillé would repeat the feat at Brno, beating the reigning World Champion by just 0.002 seconds in one of the closest finishes ever recorded.

Norick Abe completed the podium in the first ever Grand Prix at the newly built A1-Ring, which was nearly a washout when the paddock was flooded during qualifying.

Relive the 1996 Austrian Grand Prix by clicking on the video link at the top of the page.

MotoGP, 2004

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