The 1996 500cc World Championship produced one of the most unpredictable starts to a season possible, as team changes and pre-season crashes ripped up the form book. With three different winners in the first three races, it would only be when the championship arrived in Europe the real story of the season would emerge.
Reigning World Champion Mick Doohan struggled in the early races. He took victory in Indonesia, but was unable to prevent Luca Cadalora and the incredible Norifumi Abe securing wins as well. The Repsol Honda team finally found form at round four, the thrilling – and controversial – Spanish Grand Prix. Doohan and teammate Alex Criville put on a thrilling display, until the shocking moment when eager spectators invaded the track.
The fallout from that infamous incident set the tone for the season, turning 1996 into a bitter grudge match between Doohan and Criville. Over the remaining 11 races the Honda pair would share the podium on 10 occasions, finishing first and second an incredible eight times. Criville’s consistency could not match Doohan’s mercurial skill, however, as the Australian raced to a third World Championship with two rounds to spare. The bitter duel didn’t end there though, as the shocking last race clash proved.
This Official Review delivers edge-of-the-seat drama from all 15 rounds, with action-packed practice and race coverage, plus interviews and news from the paddock. The stunning footage lets you witness the Doohan-Criville rivalry, as well as storming rides from Kenny Roberts Jr, Tadayuki Okada, Alex Barros, Carlos Checa, Scott Russell and more.
In addition to the truly exceptional battles between Doohan and Criville – including the breathtaking Czech Republic showdown which saw the pair split by just 0.002 seconds at the flag – the Official Review includes Loris Capirossi taking the historic first 500cc win for Wayne Rainey’s team.
“In a great collection of DVDs, covering one of the most exciting periods in Grand Prix history, Duke Video have captured the evolution of top flight racing, from Eddie Lawson’s final fling through to Valentino Rossi’s rise to dominance. Action-packed footage, interviews with the stars and round-by-round coverage delivers the most comprehensive reviews of a decade of red hot Grand Prix racing. It is easy to forget the highs of Grand Prix; the Doohan years, when the Australian seemed unbeatable, and the lows, like Wayne Rainey’s career-ending crash, but they are all here in hour upon hour of great memories. And you will be reminded of the forgotten heroes of the period too, such as Alex Criville, who shared the podium with Doohan on 10 occasions in 11 races during the 1996 season, pushing him all the way for the title” Classic Racer