The 1999 500cc World Championship produced one of the most sensational seasons of motorcycle racing ever, a fitting finale to the century. A field packed with hard-charging riders and renewed competitiveness from Suzuki and Yamaha ensured all the ingredients were in place for a classic year.
Honda’s Mick Doohan, hunting a sixth World Championship in a row, started as favourite, but his hopes were hit first by an uncompetitive machine and then by an horrific practice crash which ended his season before it really began. Doohan’s absence could have ruined the season, but inspirational rides from the young pretenders to the Australian legend’s crown ensured 1999 would be an edge-of the-seat thrill ride to the bitter end.
Kenny Roberts Junior was first to lead the title race, taking his Suzuki to back-to-back victories, but spectacular performances by Alex Criville, Max Biaggi, Tadayuki Okada and John Kocinski ensured the championship battle would remain wide open. From the awesome battle in Italy to the Catalunya round – decided by just 0.061 seconds – and from the barrier-burning crash at the Czech Republic to the Australian race where the top three were split by just 0.124 seconds – the 1999 season was action all the way.
Crashes and tyre problems played major roles in the outcome of the championship fight. Even Criville, the first to establish a healthy lead in the title race, saw his hopes threatened by injury. He would recover to become Spain’s first 500cc World Champion – but only after the fight of his life.
This Official Review delivers thrilling action from all 16 rounds of the season. The best footage, including plenty from on-board the bikes, is combined with interviews and informed commentary from Julian Ryder and Keith Huewen to provide a comprehensive record of a scintillating season.
“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