With the enforced off-season for motorsports around the world due to Covid-19 and the associated movement control order (MCO), teams are filling racers’ time with e-racing, video talks and the such. Training is not forgotten though, and the Pata Yamaha World Superbike Championship (WSBK) team is ensuring its riders are at optimum fitness levels.

This is being done in a collaboration with Loughborough Sport, housed within Loughborough University, UK, for a series of fitness tests to determine their readiness to manage the unique physical demands of racing a motorcycle at the top level. Michael van der Mark and Philip Island race-winner Toprak Razgatl?o?lu, who both ride for Pata Yamaha, along with GRT Yamaha WSBK junior team riders Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff, participated in testing.

Tests performed on the motorcycle racers include a standard set of cycling physiology tests measuring VO2max, maximal aerobic power output, and lactate thresholds. Data obtained from testing can help determine the correlation between physical fitness and rider performance, allowing riders to receive tailored training routines for better track performance.

“While we have done a lot of physiology tests with riders over the past 10 to 15 years, our strength & conditioning and physio teams have done less, and this is the first year we have looked to join all our services together to support motorcycle racers,” said Rhona Pearce, Sports Science Manager at Loughborough Sport Performance Centre.

Other tests conducted on the Pata Yamaha WSBK riders were widely similar to those conducted across other high-demanding sports, including physiology tests, strength and conditioning, and physiotherapy screening. While the testing performed can sometimes directly correlate with performance in sports like cycling, it is less directly relevant in motorcycle racing, although it was found after testing almost 100 riders that generally better race fitness is produced by those riders with a higher VO2max.

Photographs courtesy of Nick Edards/HalfLight Photographic.

GALLERY: 2020 WSBK Winter Test, Philip Island, Australia – Pata Yamaha WSBK Team