Staying hydrated in sweltering Sepang

Staying hydrated in sweltering Sepang

The heat and humidity that is a characteristic of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang takes its toll on riders, who must wrestle a Moto2 machine around the 5.543km circuit for around 45 minutes during the race.

Riding a Moto2 bike on the limit is a physically demanding task in normal weather conditions, but in Malaysia the demands are exacerbated by the energy sapping heat and humidity that is rarely, if ever, experienced at other races on the calendar.

Over the course of the 45-minute race the riders can lose up to 2Kg in weight, mostly as a result of fluid loss. To keep themselves hydrated, the riders will load upon fluids ahead of the race (watch how many need to nip off for a quick comfort break on the grid) but many also use a small drinks bladder inside their leathers during practice and the race.

The bladder fits in to a foam protector inside the hump on the rear of the riders’ leathers, with a quick release valve allowing a tube mounted on the helmet to be connected to the bladder once the rider is kitted up and ready to go.

The tube runs around the bottom of the helmet to a bite valve fitted inside the chin bar, allowing the rider to take sips of water at will during the race.

The bladder holds only around 250ml, far less than the amount of fluid that the rider will lose over the course of a 45-minute race, but many riders feel that even this small amount is enough to stave off the worst effects of dehydration.

Having said that, there have been instances where the weather has been so hot in Sepang that the rider has drained the bladder by the time he arrives on the grid after the warm up lap.