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Alex Criville - Q&A.

Alex Criville became the first and so far only Spaniard to win the 500cc/MotoGP World Championship when he took his Repsol Honda to title victory during the 1999 season.

Criville won a total of 15 premier-class grands prix from 1992 to 2001 - all with Honda - and was one of the few riders capable of challenging five-times 500cc world champion Mick Doohan, who ruled the premier-class from 1994-1998.

Alex, who also won the 1989 125cc World Championship, now follows grand prix racing as a TV commentator...

How does a 38-year-old former 500cc world champion spend his time?

Alex Criville:
After retiring, I missed racing and the world of competition a lot, dying to return to racing. I drove in some rallies, I was with Toni Elías for one year, and then the possibility of TV cropped up. What do I do now? Live from day to day and follow racing which is what I like. And I enjoy my time with my family. I am very happy. I follow the motorbike championship but from another perspective. Without the danger inherent in racing and this year enjoying a season which I believe is one of the best that we have seen in the last few years, with two Spaniards fighting in the top category. In 125cc and 250cc. our riders are also on the crest of a wave.

Do you enjoy your new life in the paddock? It is completely different from the one you had as a rider…

Alex Criville:
Hey, I always liked to compete and when I went to the paddock I wanted the day of the race to arrive, and for the lights to turn green. The same still happens. When I am in the paddock I want the race on Sunday to start, to live them and to enjoy watching them. All the rest makes me tired. The trips, the waits, spending all your time travelling around the world, so much time away from home....

Is there anything specific about racing that you miss?

Alex Criville:
The adrenaline, the tension that you have on the bike, and all the sensations that the bike gave me and which I don't experience now. Sometimes you do think that you are missing something. That is something that cannot be replaced.

Is there anything that you do not miss?

Alex Criville:
The risk. The negative part of racing are the risks, the injuries, this is one of the things that I don't miss. After accidents like the ones involving Esteve Rabat and Jorge Lorenzo a few weeks ago in Montmeló, or Axel Pons in Jerez, you realise how dangerous this sport is. You were aware of the danger before, but now you watch and you analyse, and you think that what you achieved and did is more than enough. I am privileged to have been a winner and to have retired before I seriously hurt myself, because you spend a lot of time competing, but sooner or later the moment arrives when you have to stop.

Turning to the present. What do you think about MotoGP at the moment? Do you think it is changing in the right way?

Alex Criville:
I believe that the world is a more and more complicated place. But it works, the best riders are here, and it is the number one championship. The leader in everything, the audience as well as in makes, since the best makes invest in it. There are certain things in the championship that I think are very good, but it is also true that maybe some more riders are needed in MotoGP.

I remember being alongside another thirty riders on the grid, now there are eighteen. I think that it would not be a bad idea to have ten more, so that the level of competitiveness is a little higher.

MotoGP has reached a point where the bikes are extremely sophisticated, so technically they need engineers that can set them up. Technology has advanced a lot, from traction control, electronics, etc. This means that now not everybody can have the pleasure of creating a team, something that was more affordable before. The factories can pay for this, but the satellite teams are on a knife edge.

If you were able to change the regulations in each of the three grand prix categories, what would you do?

Alex Criville:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Criville, Spanish MotoGP 2008
Repsol honda mechanic, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Nicky Hayden tribute, Italian MotoGP 2017
Gibernau, Criville, Argentinian MotoGP 2017
Gibernau, Criville, Argentinian MotoGP 2017
Repsol Honda team, Marquez, Pedrosa, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda launch [Credit: Peter McLaren]
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda launch
Repsol Honda launch [credit:]
Marc Marquez`s Repsol Honda (Peter McLaren)
Repsol mechanics after Marquez crash, Dutch MotoGP 2016
Repsol honda fuel tank, Dutch MotoGP 2016
Repsol Honda, Dutch MotoGP 2016
Criville, MotoGP legends award, Catalunya MotoGP 2016
Criville, Catalunya MotoGP 2016
Ezpeleta, Criville, Catalunya MotoGP 2016
Criville awarded the MotoGP Legneds medal, Ezpeleta, Catalunya MotoGP 2016
Criville becomes MotoGP legend (Dorna).

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Robbo46 - Unregistered

July 10, 2008 8:07 PM

Good interview,I guess that he was the best of the rest,after Doohan at that time.Still feel that he was in the right place at the right time,following Doohans crash and subsequent retirment,I really dont think that he was capable of beating Mick week in,week out....but a champion he is.As far as single WC winners,I would rate Schwantz way above him,but i think that Alex was also way better than Kenny Roberts as well!!!

Ma - Unregistered

July 11, 2008 10:58 AM

Haha! That tickled me too, Jack. I don't think he would've ever been quite 'prepared' enough to beat Doohan to a championship otherwise. A very fine rider he was though. And a good interview, too. :)

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