MotoGP: Alex Criville inducted as MotoGP Legend

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Former world champion Alex Criville has been inducted as a MotoGP legend at his home race in Barcelona at the weekend, becoming the 23rd racer to be awarded the honour.

One of only two men alongside Valentino Rossi to win 125GP and 500GP titles, Criville is perhaps best remembered for his epic battles with teammate Mick Doohan – even though he says he only ever raced for fun.

“I enjoyed just riding bikes. It was not my dream to be a rider, because I was very young. But then my brother said: “You have the ability to ride a bike. Maybe in the future you can be a rider.” I think one of the best moments of my career was when I came back home, and there were thousand and thousand of people there celebrating my title. In that moment I was like a legend.

“I want to say thank you to Dorna for all their work over these years. I’m so happy; it’s great to join the best riders in history. It’s very nice to get it at home in front of my friends and family. After winning the championship in 99 I think this is the happiest moment, there are no words for what I’m feeling right now.”

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleto, who presented the award on Saturday, spoke of his pleasure at being able to make the presentation to his fellow Spaniard.

“For me personally and for everyone working in MotoGP it is a great pleasure to have Criville as a MotoGP Legend. Alex started in the championship before we started, but I’ve known him for many, many years. He always tries to do the best and he’s a person who never gives up.

“Together with Valentino Rossi he is the only person who has won 125 titles and 500 titles. It’s great to be here, we’ve been waiting all year for this. Myself and Dorna are very proud to give this award to Alex, he’s an icon around the world.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer