Marvel at these extreme MotoGP injury therapies

The lengths that some riders go to in order to recover in double-quick time will impress you.
By Joseph Caron Dawe

MotoGP riders are a fearless bunch. Hitting up to 350kph on two wheels is just one indicator of that, but another is the ridiculously short time in which they return to action from injury. And we’re not talking minor injuries, we’re talking broken bones and even worse.

RedBull.com recently put together this infographic detailing some of the superhuman recovery times that MotoGP riders have taken to get back on the bike. But how do they achieve it?

Marc Márquez fitness test
Marc Márquez gets a fitness check-up © www.marcmarquez93.com

Well, aside from pure determination, a lot of pain and what might be termed as a “different mindset” to us normal humans, they undertake a variety of treatments and training methods to get themselves back in shape. We’ve looked at a few of them here…

Hyperbaric chambers

Receiving 100 percent oxygen in specially pressurised atmospheric chambers, hyperbaric medicine has been used by a number of riders to aid and speed their recovery from broken bones.

Randy de Puniet used one in his comeback from a broken leg in 2010 – it helped the Frenchman ride again just 26 days after suffering his injury – and here's Álvaro Bautista in one in 2011:

MotoGP rider Álvaro Bautista in 2011
Álvaro Bautista being treated for a broken leg © www.vroom-magazine.com

Physiotherapy

This might seem like a more traditional treatment, but the way some MotoGP riders administer it could be thought of as unique!

The Clinica Mobile is MotoGP’s on-site medical unit at races, providing not just an emergency response, but also a place where riders can stop by for a deep tissue massage, ongoing physio and plenty more.

It usually supplements the physio they’re having between races, and they’ll drop in between practice sessions to see the team.

Here’s Marc Márquez getting his injured finger seen to last season:

Old-school alternatives

We dread to think of some of the methods used in the “old days” of MotoGP, but sometimes tried and tested simple solutions can be just as effective as modern medicine!

In addition to the injuries that can take weeks and months to fight back from, MotoGP riders experience a range of other ailments that can affect them on a daily basis as the toll of holding onto a 240bhp motorcycle is felt.

Blisters are just one, especially in hot and humid locations. Here’s Cal Crutchlow treating his with a bucket of, well, you can read the tweet…

Special training programmes

Of course, in addition to trips to the doctor and other specialists who are able to perform very specific operations, riders also use personal trainers and highly specialised regimes as part of their return to full fitness from particular injuries.

Here’s Márquez focusing on a shoulder injury in 2013:

MotoGP rider Marc Márquez working on his shoulders in the gym
Marc Márquez working hard in the gym © Marc Márquez
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