Special training in Barcelona for Repsol Honda 125cc riders
In a final MotoGP-related activity before 2006 draws to a close, three young 125cc riders headed to Barcelona this week to participate in physical tests at the Joaquim Blume Centro De Desports.
Bradley Smith had flown in from Oxford for the occasion, and was joined by local rider Esteve Rabat and recently recovered Stefan Bradl as they underwent a series of medical examinations under the watchful eye of mentor Raul Jara.
After the riders' height, weight, armspan and body fat had been measured, there was a short analysis using an electrocardiograph and a device to measure lung capacity. After that, they headed to an adjoining room to take turns carrying out static jumps and three levels of difficulty on an exercise bike, whilst wired up to machines measuring their physical condition.
Smith, who is in Barcelona again this weekend for a memorial to Ruben Torres, the young rider tragically killed on track earlier this year, explained that although he wasn't informed of the results, physical tests were important to measuring his progress. "I don't get told much about the doctor's findings, but it's important to the team because they form the basis for next season's training program," he explained.
"Obviously I'm going to have improved from this time last year through the professional work carried out in 2006, but I have been advised to put on about 3-4kg if I can. My first test is going to be at Jerez, and I'm looking forward to that and Qatar," said the 16 year old.
For Rabat, this is the first year that he has been taken to the facility for examination, and he too will be testing at Jerez from the 22nd to 24th of January.
"It's difficult for me to set goals at this stage, but I'm obviously going to try my best and see what happens. In the coming season I am going to be focusing exclusively on the World Championship," he commented.
Stefan Bradl is coming back from a nasty leg injury suffered in Malaysia, when he was hit from behind when lining up for a practice start. "My condition isn't so bad at the moment," he commented. "Now I'm back training and rehabilitating after the operation back in September and, although I can't do any jogging because of my leg, cycling isn't a problem. Next year I hope to get some top ten placings, which I believe will be slightly easier as the 125cc category is a bit easier and more open now that some riders have moved up to 250cc."
DORNA / CAPSIS International