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2011
MONZA

 


 

 

first time on track


A LOOK INSIDE A RACER'S BODY

             Your body starts transforming itself to heighten mental awareness, increase physical capabilities and minimize risk of injury in the event of a crash.                                                         

            The brain’s stress control center, the hypothalamus, releases adrenalin, noradrenaline and ACTH to start everything in motion.

The body produces hormones to convert fats and proteins to sugars, the liver releases extra sugars to fuel your muscles. Your metabolic rate increases, as does heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. The spleen releases extra red blood cells to carry the extra oxygen that burns the sugars that the muscles need...your muscles tense up. Unessential body functions shut down…digestion ceases, to conserve energy, therefore saliva and mucus dries up which increases the size of air passages to the lungs…that’s why you get a dry mouth and it’s hard to swallow.

            Of course you want to visit the toilet...your body needs to empty your bladder to reduce the risk of more injury...your bladder is more likely to rupture in the event of a crash if it's full.

            Your body prepares itself for battle and releases endorphins, natural pain killers, your blood vessels constrict (hence the higher blood pressure), more blood clotting ingredients are released and the bone marrow releases more white blood cells to combat infection in case of injury.

            This is why racers get the pounding heart and a feeling of hyper-consciousness.

            Riders must learn to control this adrenalin kick…it’s a myth that riders psych themselves up for a race...in reality  it’s the other way around; you must learn to relax and calm down otherwise if you get too excited, frightened, angry…your brain gets overloaded with information and your reactions slow. Your thinking actually slows down because you can’t assimilate and sort the information you need in time…you get into berserker territory.

            The reaction to racing and what it does to their minds and bodies is what is addictive to so many racers…the feeling of euphoria when you are on the edge of the performance envelope and still in control.

That’s not to say that riders are fearless...

…Wayne Rainey suffers from vertigo and hates heights ...

…Niall MacKenzie suffers from claustrophobia...

…Max Biaggi hates rough seas and would never go hang-gliding ...

            It’s not a love of speed that racers love…normally it’s going just a bit further outside the performance envelope of themselves and the bike which is so satisfying…when asked what was the fastest he’d ever been on a race bike, Wayne Rainey said "...320kph at Yamahas Test Track at Fukuroi..." - and when he was asked how it felt, replied.. It felt like it needed another tooth off the rear sprocket.....”

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