It all started in Mugello
The Mugello circuit is undoubtedly one of the most complicated in the world and there I had to debut in the 250cc World Cup. In the liter room everything happened very quickly.
With just a previous test in Calafat with a standard motorcycle, I went out to Mugello nervous and eager to eat the world in the first of the six World Cup races I had to run with the Italian team. In principle and although I did not know the circuit or the category, I was reluctant to get behind one of the other pilots to see where they traced, slowed, accelerated, etc., but they ended up convincing me to do so just to get used to it as soon as possible. possible to the circuit and in the last training sessions I already began to achieve decent times to finish 21st my first Grand Prix of the quarter of a liter. There, I also signed my first professional contract with a sponsor; Nolan helmet brand and I met the one who would end up being my manager and great friend from 1999 until the end of my career, Alberto Vergani.
We were on budget. I had to travel by car on many occasions, sleep in a kind of bed of railings in the truck of the team that usually transported motorcycles and spare parts and also stay long season in Italy, specifically in the headquarters of the team, Pesaro. Thus began my long and good relationship with the transalpine country in which motorcycling also raises passions. The experience was extraordinary, because of how quickly everything happened and how I was evolving: in the penultimate Grand Prix that was played in Laguna Seca, I already added the two points of the 14th place and in the Jarama, which closed the season, I qualified ninth beating pilots like Suter, Jean Michel Bayle or Wilco Zeelemberg, enshrined in the category. It was spectacular, but unfortunately it did not open the doors of any important sponsor to keep running the following year.
Everything seemed to go to work at the beginning of 94 until Francesco Pileri, one of the prestigious Italian Team Managers appeared and put the necessary money to complete a season in which I went from being about to not running, to being the best private pilot of the category. Virtually always on the points and on a handful of occasions in the Top 10. I finished 12th ahead of some official drivers.
The end of the season was coming and Albacete hosted the Solo Moto Super Prestige in the 500 category. Days before the race Jaime Alguersuari called me on my first Motorola mobile that weighed half a kilo, when I had just got on my Seat Panda and told me to get off with the monkey and the helmet because he could run. On Friday, Sito Pons, with whom I was already negotiating to join his team the following year in 250, told me that it would finally not be possible because it was difficult to round the budget and because a possible bad result could condition the sponsorship. But Batiste Borja, pilot of his team, was injured and after going out on Friday night, on Saturday I saw a Honda NSR500 with the number 77 (7 returned to appear in my sports career). I was third in the first round after Crivillé and Barros. There the doors of the Sito Pons team, the confidence of Tabacalera and the fact of knowing that he could fly a 500 in Albacete with only one hour of training were opened.
In 95 everything looked perfect but it was hard. Our 250cc official Honda had traction problems, the choice of tires did not help and the first results were desperate despite starting fourth in Australia until in a test at the Circuit de Catalunya, my technician, Ramon Forcada tried a change that reversed the situation. We went to Le Mans, my feelings with the bike improved a lot and I stayed at the doors of the podium. Everything had changed, but the most important thing had happened a day before the race: my teammate Alberto Puig, fell at the end of a straight line at 260 km / hour with the NSR500 and broke his leg. A very serious accident that changed his life and mine that in the same 95 closed with the title of Champion of Spain of 250cc. while in the World Cup, I was already up, without having anticipated it, to the Puig 500.