Fitness required for Moto GP Bike training & racing
(Ironmate Mark coached Bradley Smith Bancaja Aspar team rider to finish runner up in 125CC World Championships 2009. Bradley is the highest place British rider in Moto GP for 30 years since Barry Sheene (also BS initials).
25 Qualities of a MotoGP rider.
- The rider needs to show good agility aerobic & anaerobic fitness.
- Show competitive instinct when required and show confidence and maturity under pressure.
- Reaction times in fractions of a second. Feeling the bike as they slid or potentially are losing it on a corner!
- A well developed aerobic fitness (ability to recover) is vital when your body has a moment to recover. This is when you use more oxygen compared to anaerobic exercise.
- Anaerobic fitness is the ability to work at a high intensity that causes oxygen debt because you use up more oxygen than your cardiovascular system can supply. When this happens we change from using oxygen to using a larger percentage of glycogen for energy.
- This result in the burning sensation that we experience in our muscles is from working very hard or from accumulative fatigue.
- When the body fatigues reaction times lengthen so our ability to move on the bike & manoeuvre is affected.
- Tiredness impairs the rider's judgement which alters minute changes in movements and if not adjusted causes mistakes that can result in losing time/position or worse an accident.
- Ability does not change when dehydrated or fatigued but reflects actions do, judgements, position and speed is altered which can be seen in a reduced performance level.
- Having a well developed anaerobic fitness is vital when fatigued from hard efforts.
- Cardiovascular fitness is crucial during a race because the heart rate can rise as high as 194 or more beats per minute. Resting heart rate can be as low as 44 so the rider can have a range of 150 beats.
- Recovering quickly from training free practise and qualifying rounds is vital for intense back to back days of riding to be able to perform on race day.
- Large powerful muscles are not as important as quality endurance muscles that also have agility to move around the bike without fatigue.
- Good core is vital for correct posture and adequate joint strength is needed including overall fitness.
- The more parts of your overall fitness you use the less effort is required while maintaining speeds for longer. Good conditioning will prevent and reduce fatigue, lack of sport-specific fitness will cause aches and pains in the hours and days after.
- Weakness in any of these areas can be seen first with a loss of form.
- Bike specific fitness allows you to keep the correct posture once the rider becomes fatigued. Being in-tune and aware of your body allows you to focus and take control to maintain good technique.
- A loss of control ends up with wrong decisions leading to mistakes.
- I have listed below the major predominant muscles that a motorbike rider will use the Forearm, inner thighs, stomach and hands
- Arms – shoulder biceps and Triceps must not fatigue at any time =The skill part or riding often neglected by riders
- Back – works with the stomach and gluteal muscles to allow smooth = aerodynamic and faster movements from left to right before and after a bend. Weak gluteal muscles fatigue much quicker from constant pressure (when sitting and when thighs are holding the bike) lower back pain can be caused by weak gluteal muscles.
- Forearms – Flexor Carpi radialis (wrist flexors) = required for control position, posture and allows movements on the bike.
- Thighs – mainly the inner thigh, adductors Longus & Magnus = these must be developed for gripping the bike and allowing the rider to control movement and stay on the bike.
- Stomach – Abdominals, external & internal oblique’s = Required for constant good posture control the bike
- The fitness tests are designed to show not just aerobic and anaerobic capacity but also motor skills cognitive ability (thinking quick on their feet and understanding the task that is required, realising and preventing what can go wrong), understanding and carrying out instructions.
- Most of all avoid making the same mistakes and how the athlete copes and continues on when things do go wrong.
- Highly motivated good technique will also be observed.
The following is the fitness tests that coach Ironmate Mark uses to evaluate Moto GP fitness
Mark has coached Bradley Smith to finish runner up in the world 125cc Moto GP championships 2009. For more info click on http://www.bradley-smith.co.uk/index.cfm/p/results
“The bleep test”
The athlete's score is the level and number of shuttles (20m) reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording
Agility jump Test
Upper body fitness
Core fitness is required even more when fatigued