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  • Writer's pictureAdéla Pavlovská

Inside the work of the MotoGP medical team


This article will provide insight into the work of the MotoGP medical team, which is crucial for keeping everyone safe every race weekend.
 

Motorsport is consisted not only of drivers and teams but also of more invisible paddock members. Safety in the racing world is crucial, now maybe more than ever. Especially in MotoGP, which is known to be extremely dangerous. There is at least one crash during each session, and most of the time, they result in injuries. That is why having a medical team during races is a necessity. We already gave you an insight into the work of the F1 Medical Team: https://www.f1hoesblog.com/post/inside-the-work-of-the-medical-car-team. Today, you will find out what the procedures during a MotoGP race weekend are.


MotoGP is known for having only the elite ones in the medical field. In 2017, Forbes named MotoGP medical director Angel Charte and traumatology specialist Xavier Mir as two of the best doctors in Spain. But the story goes far back, all the way to the 1970s. The 1977 Austrian GP debuted the first mobile clinic under the supervision of Dr. Claudio Costa. And it came in the nick of time as the Clinica Mobile saved the 350cc rider Franco Ucini's life. At that time, it was only a van equipped with the most basic tools. However, as time went by, the mobile clinic significantly evolved and modernised. In 1981, it already had two beds, and several years later, proper physiotherapy devices got installed. Medical care standards got formalised in 1997.


Nowadays, Clinica Mobile consists of a waiting room, first aid room, physiotherapy, relaxation, and traumatology rooms. Furthermore, there is an x-ray machine, laser therapy, and magnetotherapy; one of the rooms can even serve for emergency surgeries. During a race weekend, the clinic is opened 24 hours a day to anyone requiring medical care. Around 32 people work on rotation under Dr. Michele Zasa's leadership; local workers are also included. There are physiotherapists, doctors, trauma, and orthopedic surgeons, as well as a radiographer.

"The Clinica Mobile increases safety when we're racing," says Marc Marquez, "for every rider, it's very important, because most of the time after crashing, we depend on them to enable us to compete. It's where our guardian angels really are." Some riders, including Marquez, use their own physiotherapists, as well as the service of Clinica Mobile.


But for 2023, things are set to change. Dorna is planning to replace the iconic Clinica Mobile with the Spanish healthcare provider Quironsalud, which already works closely with MotoGP. The reason for this incorporation is mainly financial. Quironprevencion Health Center, the name of the new MotoGP medical area, is set up to offer "world-leading physiotherapy and medical services" for the paddock.


"The agreement we have reached with Quirónprevención is great news for MotoGP,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. "I am very happy, because it is a clear and important improvement for the future." Clinica Mobile will serve its purpose in the WorldSBK world. Although the system is set to remain the same, riders are not thrilled about such a change, as Clinica Mobile is viewed to be a significant part of history. The new team, led by Dr. Angel Charte is consisted of two intensive care specialists, anaesthetists, and paramedics specialised in the management of severe polytrauma and planned to work in two intensive care vehicles resembling an emergency unit of a hospital, equipped with high-level tools.


Furthermore, MotoGP uses medical cars, three in total, that are scattered across the track, ready to act. Together with the driver, there is a doctor. Each car, called Omega, is equipped with things such as monitor, respiratory system, medical bike, defibrilator and much more. The same way as in F1, Medical Cars are in contact with the race direction, having different codes for the severity of different crashes. Only on Sundays during a warm-up lap, a Safety Car is used. One of the Medical Cars then follows the grid from behind during the first lap.


Medical service in the MotoGP paddock is available to anyone in need every hour of the day. Not only during the year but also afterwards, offering medical examinations for the following season.


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