SON WORLD CHAMPIONS GB TAKE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH

PAUL BURBIDGE

FIM Speedway of Nations world champions Great Britain have turned to athlete telemetrics in their quest to stay on top of the podium.

The Lions ended their 32-year wait for a world team title when they won the FIM SON Final in Manchester last October, with Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley beating Poland’s Bartosz Zmarzlik and Maciej Janowski 5-4 in the Grand Final.

But the Lions are leaving no stone unturned in their search for speed ahead of this year’s FIM SON in Danish seaside city Esbjerg from July 27-30.

GB bosses have drafted in Rebecca Blake, who recently completed a Master’s study on speedway at Solent University in Southampton.

She is now working towards a doctorate and the Brits are set to benefit from her efforts as she hopes to collect data on riders’ performance.

Blake told GBSpeedwayTeam.com: “We are starting from scratch. Firstly we need to establish what elements of information we need to collate.

“It’s not just results-based. It’s about physical performance and other factors which add up to that. It’s more about the way the athlete is built rather than what they do on the track.

“With the data I collect, I can then go to GB performance specialist Chris Neville and psychologist Jeremy Holt and explain what the numbers are saying and what certain tests are showing us. That information will filter into how they want to go forward and use it to improve the riders.”

Blake’s scientific approach is completely new to the sport, but she hopes it will help the Lions deliver peak performance on the track.

She added: “Of course other sports are much further ahead with the use of intelligence and data science for performance. But we can’t go down that route without data.

“So that’s why I’m tasked with trying to understand what the rider is like on and off the bike. Then we can start to look at the different variables on tracks, environmental conditions.

“In order to get to that point, we need the information and that has started. It has never been done before in speedway.

“The end result is the ability to programme the riders more effectively and allow us to be able to control circumstances and maximise performance at the right times.”

Photo: Taylor Lanning

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