The Mugello weekend is my second time being involved in this project that sees Lifenet alongside Aprilia. I am Fabio Careddu and, after attending at the very start of the season the tests in Portimao, Portugal, I was now appointed to our ‘home’ Grand Prix, on the extraordinary circuit amidst the Tuscan hills.
Free practice, forearm pain for Lorenzo Savadori
On Thursday afternoon my colleagues and I fully immersed ourselves in the atmosphere of the Italian Grand Prix, admiring the Tricolour Arrows Aerobatic Team rehearsing for the Sunday afternoon performance. But we don’t spend much time with our noses in the air, for as early as Friday morning I am contacted by Lorenzo Savadori, the Italian rider who will ride the Aprilia of the Test Team today. He complains of pain and stiffness in his forearm during P1. This has led to obvious difficulties in handling the bike at the end of the straight, where the MotoGP bikes go more or less from 340-350km/h to about 90km/h, forcing the rider to hang on to the brakes for around five seconds whilst negotiating the San Donato corner in the best possible way, and handling the bike’s changes of direction.
With a view to P2 in the afternoon I decide to perform a decontracting and lymph-draining treatment to allow him to deal with the session in the best possible way. The response from the track is positive… The forearm is better, the problem is still there but not disabling.
We decide to meet again after practice to continue with physiotherapy treatments in order to deal with qualifying rounds and Saturday’s Sprint Race in the best possible condition.
In line with the protocol prepared together with Franco Perona (Chief Medical Officer ( Lifenet Healthcare) and fellow physiotherapists Alessio, Davide and Luca, I decide to carry out tecar therapy, massage therapy, manual therapy, lymphatic drainage and stretching treatments to reduce the pain and, just before putting the suit on, muscle activation exercises (about 15 minutes before going on the track). I share with the rider and Dr. Corti the rehabilitation programme that I intend to carry out and we decide to go ahead with it, agreeing to meet early on Saturday morning for another treatment session before going out on the track for Free Practice and qualifiers.
Mugello Grand Prix, the grandstands fill up
The following day we carry out the prescribed treatment and are confident about the progress of the forearm. Back in the pits after the first few laps, the response of the arm is positive and this is also confirmed in the briefing at the end of the session. We therefore decide to continue with this treatment as it seems to be paying off in view of the Sprint Race in the afternoon and the race on Sunday.
The day of the race arrives… The atmosphere is amazing… The fans in the grandstands are making their presence felt. We go out onto the track full of confidence. The initial rhythm is good, but halfway through the race the times increases considerably. We believe that the forearm problem has come back again in a big way. He himself, once back in the pits, declared that his arm was not 100%, but still manageable, and that the worsening of his performance was due to a major loss of feeling with the front end, which unfortunately kept him out of the points zone. There is work to be done, but had it not been for a small mistake at the end, he definitely would have classified in a much higher position.
Once again, I leave the circuit with an incredible adrenalin charge: in some small way we too have contributed to the success of this weekend, allowing a rider to give his all right to the end. Now my eyes and concentration are already on the next race: I can’t wait to pack my bags again. For the next round we fly north: Sachsenring, the German Grand Prix!