Travel notes following the championship
We are preparing the materials and the trip to Portimao for the tests. The ‘case’ with the Lifenet logo is really impressive, everything stowed perfectly, ready for the trip. We thought, planned, ordered, rethought, and tested everything…. we checked cables, sockets, batteries and at the end with Immacolata and Claudio we tested the various systems, with Fabio we reviewed the functionality of the physiotherapy equipment and at the end, Mauro assisted us perfectly in the logistics for the delivery of the materials and the sorting of the various products.
We have more than 40 drugs in various dosages, all the support equipment, the material for possible infusions, small smart technologies dedicated to monitoring people. The design of the uniform that Italian Gesture will make for all of us doctors and physiotherapists has taken shape. Nothing is left to chance, and I was delighted to hear Giovanni Pasquini’s care for the colours, the combinations, and to have similar passion from Nicola Bedin and Mariacarlotta Rinaldini Bedin. We believe we have accomplished great teamwork; we are happy.
If I had to imagine…. it is as if we were preparing a crossing or a climb, the impressions are those of a journey which you are at the beginning of but of which you know essentially nothing; inside I have a feeling of peace, a lot of joy, curiosity, respect for what we will experience at work and an absolute trust in the group that surrounds me.
It is almost time to leave, I am starting to count the days… I have not done that in years!
At 11.30 am on the 9th February we are on the track at Sepang. Few have experienced the feeling and had the luck to enter a circuit when testing is underway, everything is different. First of all, there are no crowds, silence dominates for many hours, the pits seem to be closed, few people walk around the rest of the paddock, but as we enter I see the various hospitality areas sporting their colours and soon we arrive at our Aprilia. It is a really nice site with two offices, the dining room, time for a coffee and here is the first clinical case, what is generically defined as a stye.
It is an infection at the base of the eyelashes that affects the Zeiss glands (small sebaceous glands) and is usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. When a stye develops, the bacterial infection leads to the formation of a kind of yellowish-white pimple, localised at the root of an eyelash, which can occur on either the upper or lower eyelid. This patient has every single symptom i.e., swelling, reddening of the eyelids, feeling of heaviness, itching. Having confirmed the treatment through a consultation with one of Lifenet’s brightest minds and professionals, I start local medical treatment and my day on the track begins.
I am greeted by Paolo Bonora, a solid engineer with a strong predisposition for organisational activities….as he says ‘my name is Paolo and I solve problems’, he immediately takes me to Massimo Rivola, managing director with a great history in the world of motors. After only a couple of words he starts walking with me around the box, I am still a bit dazed; here I meet the people I had already seen in Valencia, this time I find myself in a different role, from that of the guest who was watching his first race from the pits to the role of the doctor of the Lifenet Group, Official Medical Partner of the Aprilia Moto GP team.
I am greeted in a variety of ways: from formal greetings to a few smiles, to amazement at the presence of a doctor…
I set up the ‘studio’ next to the logistics and press area, place the ultrasound, tecar therapy and other accessories, I have a splendid treatment bed, and computer workstation with table.
The meetings then take place at the table where we start talking about what I should do and what our organisation is like, how many people will rotate and a timetable.
Track days start at seven in the morning and end between 10pm and 11pm at night. For me, as an inexperienced person, it is incredible to watch the organisation with which everything is disassembled, reassembled, checked sometimes with some technical discussion, but I try to be a more than discreet presence.
Lorenzo helps me a lot, he is the Aprilia tester, the one who takes on of the bike before the official riders. He has the job of working on the ‘raw’ material and shaping it so that it is then ready for the riders. He is an open, cheerful guy and it is a pleasure to talk to him, he gives me a lot of information and brings me close to the understanding of the working day.
And here are the riders: I knew Maverick and it was nice to meet him again; he pays great attention to training and has a very correct concept for his fitness. With Alex I have less confidence, extremely polite and very smiley, he is also a truly exemplary athlete, very passionate about cycling. I hope that in time there will be a chance to have a chat with both of them, but for now it is already very nice to be this close during these very days.
Slowly people come in with all sorts of questions and so my day goes by between an ultrasound scan, a tecar scan, a piece of advice, a chat, a consideration on types of therapy and then the frequent topic of nutrition for which, although I feel prepared, I can count on my very strong ally, Carla.
The day of going back to Italy arrives, on the return journey I go through everything I have experienced.
The best feeling is that we did not make any mistakes in the preparation phase, not even the smallest nuance, and so thanks to the team in Turin who assisted me so well. I can’t wait to have this experience with the physiotherapists because we will really be able to give our best and thus extend our capacity for care. I look at the last photos, I don’t even hear the plane leave, in my head I already have my ticket to Portugal, to Portimao to be precise.
Until next time!!!