The Barros Change due to tai chi?
10 JUN 00 - MotoGP News http://www.motograndprix.com/
As Alex Barros nails down the second pole position of his career, and the second in a row,
everyone in the paddock wonders from where the suddenly strong challenge has come. After
all, the Brazilian has been racing 500s since 1990 and has shown an inconsistent ability
to run up front, but a consistent ability to finish races. In his 10-year career, Barros
has over 100 finishes and since 1993 has never finished worse than ninth in the
But in all those years of trying, the amicable Alex has only a single win (Jarama in 1993)
and until the new millennium, had never been the quickest qualifier.
It's clear that Barros has talent, but recently the Brazilian made a significant lifestyle
change and hired world-class tai chi instructor Rudolfo Hernandez from Venezuela to train
him. Alex had already moved his family to Spain for the season, but stepping up to a new
training level seems to be the change he needed. Initially, Barros felt he wouldn't be
able to fit the training into his already crowded schedule because Hernandez demanded a
lot of time and attention, but Alex made it work and the results are beginning to show.
A big part of martial arts is mental, and so is a big part of motorcycle racing. It's
about confidence, concentration and focusing on a result while training to achieve that
result. Racing a 500 for 50 minutes on Sunday, or practicing on it for two hours on Friday
and Saturday tests everything from muscle strength to cardiovascular fitness to total
concentration. With Hernandez in his corner, Barros looks set to capitalize on the
promising talent we've seen for so many years.