GB Speedway Team harnesses muscle activity data under race conditions

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The physicality of speedway motorcycle racing is evident to see. However, until now there has been no way of quantitively assessing the inputs riders are making. To change this, the GB Speedway Team has engaged the services of specialist Motorsport Biomechanics to gain an insight into the muscle activity data of its riders while on track.

Chris Neville, head of performance at GB Speedway Team, explained, “We are one of the first in the world of motorsport to collect muscle activity data live on a speedway track with our Team GB speedway riders. It’s incredible to think these machines can go from 0-60mph [96km/h] faster than an F1 car! Working with this new technology, we have found these actions cause huge muscular demand. The data we have collected during pre-season training will be invaluable not only to our riders but also for our team of strength and conditioning coaching staff to make sure their off-track training is optimized.”

To gather data, riders have wireless sensors attached to their bodies that provide muscle activity data for analysis from run to run. This can provide, for example, an insight into muscle use between fastest and slowest laps, and the data can then be used to help formulate specific training regimens.

In the example shown below, a rider was experiencing arm pump during a race, with the muscle activity data used to identify when forearm fatigue was starting to set in, which in turn allowed for the rider’s trainer to adapt their muscle conditioning program to better effect.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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