How does a MotoGP rider keep cool in the Malaysian heat?
How does a MotoGP rider deal with the heat and humidity of Malaysia? Having spent time acclimatising to the conditions by running or cycling riders will give themselves an understanding of how they'll feel in the closing stages of the races when your physical strength determines so much of the outcome.
This weekend Bradley Smith will combat the conditions and their effects by regulating his body temperature in a small pool that he keeps inside the Tech3 garages. Far from a paddling pool Smith's pool can regulate it's heat and maintain it at the same level so that he can carefully manage his body temperature throughout the weekend. Having used the pool at the Suzuka 8 Horus earlier this year Smith explained the benefits of it:
"The plan came from Simon Sostaric who is my physiologist," commented Smith. "We've been working together for the last two years and he's worked with Ben Spies and Mark Webber in the past. The idea of the pool is to lower core temperature of the body. I first used this at Suzuka and I found it to be really beneficial at that race.
"The idea is to lower the core temperature prior to getting on the bike so that you feel cooler when you start and then once your finished after the session the idea is to get the core temperature back to normal working temperature so it's easier for your body to recover. The goal is to use less energy to get the temperature down because for the human body to regulate its core temperature is one of the biggest energy resources. If you can do it like this it helps the body to have less stresses. This is always a tough weekend because we've had three weeks of racing already.
"The length of time that you stay in the water depends on which procedure you're using. It can be as short as ten minutes or as long as 25 minutes. It just depends on the plan that you're going to use. In MotoGP the perfect plan doesn't always work so you have to adapt! Usually you'll spend more time in the water compared to after the session. If the water is too cold it can be a negative for you before the session because you're temperature isn't too high but after a session, when your body temperature is at its highest, you can tolerate the lower temperatures of the water better."
While the pool can offer clear benefits to Smith's performances over the weekend the rubber duck is solely there to offer company in the water!