This season’s Buckler Forum 0,0 for Responsible Driving in MotoGP began with the first gathering at the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez.
The second round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship at Jerez was the site of the V Buckler Forum 0,0 for Responsible Driving in MotoGP during the first weekend of April. One year on from its inauguration the Buckler Forum has become an important first-hand source to find out more about the latest developments and evolutions in elite motorcycling safety, and is also viewed as an ideal manner in which to raise awareness of both innovation and safety amongst road users.
The theme of the opening Forum of the year was “Doping and Safety in relation to Driving”, a current topic in the media. Also touched on were issues including the new anti-doping regulations, physical and mental preparation, and nutrition and hydration – all in relation to both the circuit and the open road.
Four experts were present at this first meeting of 2011. Executive Sporting Director for the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Ignacio Verneda, spoke about the regulations for motorcycling competition in relation to doping. Marcos Hirsch, in his capacity as physical trainer and nutritionist for MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was also present, along with Buckler 0,0 Ambassador to the World Championship Alex Crivillé, whose presence added the perspective of a rider and elite sportsperson. And from Dorna, Safety Officer and member of the MotoGP Safety Commission, Javier Alonso, was in attendance.
The new anti-doping regulations, which are not only limited to motorcycling but applicable to all sporting disciplines, were launched in 2010 whilst doping controls have been carried out in motorcycling since 1999. Mr Verneda began by saying: “1,100 tests across all disciplines of motorcycling have been carried out, of which only 1.5% have provided positive results. This shows that we enjoy a very clean sport. In MotoGP, from 1999 until the present day, 184 tests have been done, of which just one was positive.”
In 2010 the Guada programme was launched, which permits testing 24 hours a day across all 365 days of the year over a determined number of riders. Throughout last season 25 riders across the different disciplines of the FIM’s remit were randomly selected to provide tests, and in 2011 four MotoGP riders will be a part of this programme and will be selected at random from the top 10 across each category.
This system was created, says Verneda, in order to “have a clean sport in all disciplines. We want motorcyclists to be ambassadors for our sport, and also maintain the health of our sportspeople for when they finish competing. In a fast sport such as motorcycling, a rider under the influence of certain types of drugs can pose a danger to the safety of other riders.”
Marcos Hirsch discussed the importance of nutrition to fitness and success, and said: “With technical analysis you can see how a person’s metabolism functions and then perfectly adjust the type of nutrients which will benefit them. Food is the body’s gasoline, we are what we eat. An athlete being prepared at 100% is a mental state. The three main things needed for performance and good health are training, food and rest. The difficulty comes in finding the balance between the three.”
Alex Crivillé commented: “When you are physically in shape your mind works better. As Marcos said, food is important and hydration is a fundamental aspect for the proper functioning of the body and the senses. You can lose up to two litres of water during a race, something which happened to me during races such as Malaysia. The loss of water leads to a drop in concentration, physical performance, increased fatigue and consequently a reduction in reactions. This can also happen to a rider on the road, and for this reason hydration is key.”
Talking about doping controls, Crivillé said: “The anti-doping controls are positive. They were already in effect during my time riding, although they weren’t as common as they are now. I think it’s extremely important to control and sanction this to avoid unsportsmanlike and harmful riding.”
Concluding the Forum, Javier Alonso said: “It’s been very important to have representatives from the FIM here this weekend to explain things to riders, who could be harmed if they make the wrong decisions. The Guada programme allows our sport to be a clean one. To allow this and to go fast riders don’t need to take prohibited substances.”
Alonso also announced two new projects aimed at improving safety.
“The Championship, not only Dorna, is always highly attentive to the safety of the riders and is focused on improving everything to do with safety. This afternoon we had a meeting with the FIM, various medical and technical engineering people, with the aim of laying down a regulation which will allow us to introduce the airbag as mandatory in all world competitions. There are two companies, Alpinestars and Dainese, who were invited to this meeting because they already have advanced technology in this area. Both are already using their systems in some races and sessions and it is important that they can be used in all races.”
The second project in development is a system which protects the brake lever to avoid crashes and subsequent injuries. Dorna confirmed that “with the help of Ducati and the Clinica Mobile we have developed an element which protects the brake lever. We have brought a prototype here. We still have to make some changes, but we will test it at Brno with some riders with a view to making it mandatory in 2012.”
The Buckler 0,0 Forums will be present throughout the 2011 season at all Spanish GPs, whilst Buckler 0,0 remains the official beer of the Spanish Grands Prix.