Jerez was a tough round for MotoGP riders. Stefan Bradl suffered severe arm pump during the race on Sunday, where he finished in 10th place. But it seems that Dani Pedrosa was also suffering from a similar problem, despite riding to 3rd — just short Valentino Rossi.

Despite not mentioning the problem all weekend, Pedrosa underwent surgery on Tuesday to help correct the problem. He was operated on by MotoGP’s favorite Spanish surgeon, Dr. Xavier Mir, who used microsurgery to expand the fascia in the muscles in his right forearm. The surgery was deemed a success, and Pedrosa will be released from hospital tomorrow morning.

Stefan Bradl will be entering hospital for a similar operation just as Pedrosa is returning home. Bradl already had surgery in Barcelona, from the same Dr. Mir, back in 2012, which fixed the problem in the rear part of his arm. Now, however, Bradl is suffering problems in the front of his arm, and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday morning in Germany, according to Speedweek.

Both men should be fit for Le Mans, in two weeks time. Having surgery ahead of Le Mans was important, as the French circuit is very heavy on the brakes. This creates a lot of stress for riders’ forearms, causing the muscle fibers to swell up and become trapped inside the fascia (the layer containing the muscle fibers), causing pain and a loss of blood flow.

Source: HRC & Speedweek; Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • Dr. Who ?

    I’m just interested to know what is the difference between having surgery to modify the body for performance gains as opposed to taking drugs to modify the body for performance gains. Is there a particular ruling on this from FIM.

    Currently options are available for surgery to improve sight, sinus to improve oxygen intake, the procedure mentioned in the article to prevent arm pump….

    I understand riders requiring surgery for injuries, but hypothetically would a driver be allowed to implant a bionic aid if and when they are available that say improves strength in the arms, or to increase respiration or reduce fatigue etc… ?

  • L2C

    What I’ve noticed lately is that arm pump seems to affect Honda RC21XV riders more than riders for other manufacturers. I’m wondering how long it will be before Marc Márquez needs to make an appointment to have surgery on his forearms. Though because he has such a loose riding style, he may not ever need it. Who knows, but the ergonomics of Honda’s bike is likely a contributing factor to many of its riders developing this kind of injury. Then factor in technical race circuits with short straights and many heavy breaking zones.

    Anyway, surgery to treat arm pump is not considered a performance enhancement procedure, it’s considered treatment of a certain type of repetitive stress injury. And as long as that is the case, it will likely remain legal for professional motorcycle riders to have the procedure done.

  • Xan

    @Dr. Who?: There is a world of difference between medical procedures that correct unnatural problems and those that enhance performance. It’s sort of a “all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares” sort of thing.

    Procedures to improve sight = bringing sight back to its natural state, sinus procedure = giving someone naturally occurring sinus activity. Same with arm pump, they don’t enhance someone beyond their normally occurring ability. I have carpel tunnel, which causes aching pain in both of my wrists after about an hour of riding. Having surgery to fix it doesn’t extend my ability to ride, it simply allows me to ride as I would without the condition.

    Comparing those sorts of issues to ones of steroids or “bionic implants” is a completely different situation. One naturally allows someone to perform up to their normal abilities, the other allows someone to perform beyond their natural abilities.

  • Xan

    @L2C: Disclaimer… I have obviously never rider an RC213V, but I can’t imagine any of the GP bikes being statistically different in terms of hand fatigue, especially in terms of causing medical conditions. Bradl has a couple of years on the RC213V and Pedrosa has 9 years total (counting the 11V and 12V). I don’t know how different braking was on the previous iterations, but I do know that I personally have never met a bike, ridden quite a few, that was all that different than others in terms of fatigue. If anything, the worst fronts I’ve met just require more back braking.

    I really don’t think this is any different than common sport injuries found in every sport. When you ride at the level these guys do, there is no room for anything to affect performance.

  • Lewis Dawson

    LOL @Dr.Who? What I’m curious about is the cause-and-effect relationship between the widespread availability of Daily Dose Cialis and the decline in sales of litre-sized superbikes. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

  • Kevin White

    I think Dr. Who? raises a great question (though a bit off-topic perhaps). It’s something I’ve wondered about for a while. From innovative surgery that improves the human body beyond original design specs (does Tommy John surgery fall in this category?), to smart drugs / nootropics, from various physique-enhancing substances, to the hperbaric chamber, from bionic impants and tissue / organ / limb replacements, to genetic enhancement, these are all part of “technology” and part of what various sports will have to grapple with in the decades or even centuries ahead.

  • Xan

    @Kevin White: I’d say most or all sports are going to frown upon anything other than diet, exercise, and repair for the foreseeable future. Anything beyond that and it becomes a slippery slope of the only way to compete is to use: steroids, implants, enhancements, etc. The only way to ensure a fair physical competition is to remove as many variables as possible.

  • David

    All the riders have obviously had Brass Ball implants already.

    Doing what they do is not something the average size testicallian human does normally.

  • Xan

    @David: Hmmm that may be true on the brass front… Not sure about size though. I’d consider myself pretty average and I already accidentally sit on mine while riding far too regularly!

  • TonyC

    @Xan: By the way he rode around Jerez, I’d say Marquez has the greatest brass ball to body weight ratio of all GP riders.

  • crshnbrn

    re: “All the riders have obviously had Brass Ball implants already.

    Doing what they do is not something the average size testicallian human does normally.”

    The video from Jerez from the forward-facing camera on Rossi’s bike was downright scary. I suppose it’s something you get used to in the minimum of 10,000 hours it takes to get anywhere close to that level of riding.

  • rt

    @L2C Marquez’s loose riding style will demand more from his body not less compared to others. He moves around quite a bit and that will be tough