Usually, while being stuck to the tracks in adrenaline-pumping admiration, fans are not aware of some of the exciting facts hidden away from plain sight. Therefore, let’s explore more of the hidden challenges that riders need to face.
Absolute Focus at All Times
Admiring record speeds and superfast lap times is part of the love for the sport, but it is easy to forget that riders are travelling for the most of the race against an average speed of 100 mph. Moving in a car at 100 mph is already requiring your full attention on the road in front of you, imagine doing it on two wheels with zero protection. Controlling the 250-horsepower bike to find the winning balance between victory and safety requires 100% focus at all times.
A Short Memory is Vital
Riders need to forget. This is vital if they want to win and remain focused on the race. Regardless of how many accidents they have had, they need to put them behind them and forget about it. A memory popping up in their minds about a previous accident can create hesitation and slows them down as well as shatter their focus, which is dangerous in itself.
A Severe Core Workout
It might appear smooth, easy and effortless when the riders speed by on the bikes, but a fact which people tend to forget is that the bike weighs roughly 160 kilograms, which is about double the weight of an adult man. Remaining agile at all times at very high speeds require extreme arm, upper body and core strength to be able to steer the bike and stay stable even at challenging angles.
Sweating Buckets Full
Manoeuvring a bike at a speed of 100 mph which is twice as heavy as an adult male is physically demanding. Viewers are seldom aware of the severe physical strain which these riders put on their bodies. This causes some severe sweating especially if the weather conditions are on the warmer side. The estimated amount of sweat that drivers lose during only 45 minutes on the track amounts to two litres. Hydration is vital.
Kangaroo Skin for a Comfortable Fit
Biker suits are made of a variety of different leathers. Kangaroo leather is often the preferred choice due to its stretchiness, which provides a feel of a second skin. These suits are only a mere 3 – 5 millimetres thick, yet it is tough enough to protect you during a nasty fall.
Minimal Contact with the Track
Depending on the tyres they use, the size of the actual area of the tyre in contact with the track varies a little, but as a rule, it is about the size of a small coin around corners. Corners are the worst due to the 55-degree angle at which they lean in to be able to speed through it. The intense scientific research needed to develop the correct chemical balance to achieve this is a significant contributor to the massive price tag linked to these tyres.