‘Nowa­days, the tests on in­jured rid­ers are stricter’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

‘The teams are mak­ing more sen­si­ble de­ci­sions’ BRADLEY SMITH

“There is no magic to ride in these sit­u­a­tions, just this…” says the of­ten-in­jured Dani Pe­drosa, grind­ing his teeth to­gether. In other words, grit­ting your teeth is the only way.

And then there’s the pres­sure of keep­ing your ride. “What­ever team you’re rid­ing for, if you say, ‘I can’t ride’, they’ll say, ‘OK, we’ll put some­one else on the bike,’” ex­plains Crutchlow. “So we all think: ‘I’ve got to race.’”

Bradley Smith dis­agrees, but then he rides for a well-fi­nanced factory team, not a hard-up in­de­pen­dent out­fit des­per­ate for TV ex­po­sure.

“I think the man­u­fac­tur­ers and med­i­cal teams are mak­ing more sen­si­ble de­ci­sions on in­juries now,” says Smith. “They’re bring­ing rid­ers back to ac­tion when they’re ready, not too soon.”

Nowa­days, there are stricter tests on rid­ers hur­ry­ing back from in­jury, but rid­ers have ways of duck­ing med­i­cal checks, even for se­ri­ous is­sues like con­cus­sion. “If you’ve not ac­tu­ally been knocked out they can’t test for con­cus­sion be­cause you just lie your way through the test,” grins Crutchlow.

So the rider will get back on his 250-horse­power bike, never mind that nei­ther his brain or his body are ready.

“In­juries suck, they re­ally hurt,” adds Smith. “Rid­ing these mo­tor­cy­cles isn’t easy even when you’re fit, but when you ride in­jured you’re not your­self. You think you can ride but you’re al­ways com­pen­sat­ing for some­thing, so there’s al­ways some­thing miss­ing.”

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