The sun shone for 3 straight days as 5 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies went cross-training in Spain, a tough but fun-filled program of physical tests and training, cycling, running, motocross and supermotard in the Barcelona environs expanded their training horizons.
Red Bull Rookie Cup riders took part in a couple days of motocross, supermotard, cycling, and running in Barcelona.
"It was good fun but sometimes very hard," said Jakub Kornfeil, the 16 year old Czech, summing up the feeling of his peers. "For me the hardest was the run in the city, about 5 km, probably the easiest was the supermotard, I really enjoyed that. I have done it before but that was 6 years ago and I seemed to have forgotten everything."
Accompanied by rider Coach Gustl Auinger and tutored by assistant coach Raul Jara the Rookies split their time between the Consell Catalan d'Esport, which boasts a long lists of local Olympic athletes who have benefited from the facilities and the area around Barcelona where they went for the cycling, motocross and supermotard.
The motocross track is also used by the likes of Alberto Puig and Red Bull athlete Hiroshi Aoyama who were both on hand to give encouragement. "You don't need to do this to go road racing," explained Puig. "It is complimentary. You can't be on the road race bike all year and this is something that you might do at home when you have the chance. There are things that you will pick up on the dirt bike that you may find useful when you get into trouble on a road racer, particularly when you get to ride bigger bikes."
"I enjoyed the motocross," said 17 year old Spaniard Daniel Ruiz who also rides dirt bikes at home. "The best thing for me was the push-up and sit-ups, I've got the record! The cycling was not so easy, my legs are dead."
15 year old Frenchman Florian Marino thought exactly the opposite. "I am much more used to the cycling, the push-up killed me completely. I think I learnt a lot about riding supermotard, I've never tried that before."
First year Rookie Alex Kristiansson, the 15 year old Swede, said he too most enjoyed the supermotard; "It is really different, not easy at all, I've ridden motocross before but learning to do this is very hard."
"You have to forget all about road racing," advised Jara. "This is completely different, try braking hard in a straight line to unload the rear wheel then you can get it to come out and slide it into the corner. This is all part of showing them many different ways to train," added the Spanish coach. "We want them to be fitter and better prepared so late in the race if they need to do something extra, they have it ready."
"It's all good fun," concluded Sturla Fagerhaug, the 17 year old Norwegian who leads the Rookies Cup. "It is very hard to pick up all these skills, like riding the supermotard bike but I am sure that there are things we have learnt here that we can take away and use training at home."
After three exhausting days it was time to turn back to road racing and concentrate on the upcoming third round of the Rookies Cup in Mugello on May 30th. "It's been a good present for the kids," concluded Rider Coach Auinger. "It is always good to see them have fun."