Former world 500 champion Alex Criville’s " retirement " will be short-lived, if he can win his battle against fainting fits.
Criville revealed his decision to pull out for at least six months, on Saturday at the IRTA tests in Spain. He is hoping the break will be enough to beat the problem he has been suffering from since 1999.
The 31-year-old Spaniard admitted that he had taken the decision to give up his works ride in the Yamaha two-stroke squad, run by Luis D'Antin, after a recent trip to Canada to see neurology specialists.
He said: "Since 1999 I've had a condition whereby I temporarily lose consciousness from time to time. It’s not serious, but after consulting the best specialists in the field I was asked to stop racing for a while, to take time to relax and undergo the necessary tests."
Criville is adamant that his problems will not force him to retire, but he is going to come under the strictest of medical scrutiny and if there is any doubt that he his condition could affect his riding, Criville may yet be forced to hang up his leathers.
Criville's team doctor, Angel Villamor, also attended the press conference in Valencia and he said: "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 can't be done under the current circumstances.
What happens now to Criville's seat remains to be seen although D'Antin admitted that he was going to start a search for a replacement with immediate effect.
More on this in MCN, on sale Wednesday, February 20, 2002.
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