Chris Sannwald: The Man with the Magic Hands / Superbike World Championship

Almost no race driver in the SBK fold can afford to have a personal health nurse on site during the weekend. Christoph Sannwald can help his customers in many ways.

Jo Leberer was the first Formula 1 physiotherapist to achieve some fame because he worked with people like Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna. And that since the 1970s, when the subject of fitness and physiotherapeutic care did not play the major role in motorsport.

The Kawasaki Works team has for a number of years had a doctor and a physiotherapist in the Superbike fold who exclusively care for their own riders.

John Laverty, a trained physiotherapist, treated from time to time brother Eugene and Chaz Davies.

However, most motorists go to the Clinica mobile if something squeezes or hurts. Because the treatments are included in the entrance fee.

Christoph Sannwald has offered his services in the SBK fold since this year. The giant from Blaustein near Ulm has been working with Patrick Hobelsberger since the beginning of 2020, the German champion has again this year run the world championship for the Kallio Yamaha team.

Sannwald came to racing by chance, he met Tim Stadtmüller at a fishing fair. The former IDM pilot from Winnenden then invited him to Schleiz, “I had never seen anything like it,” Schwaberen told “I liked it, and I thought maybe I could do something with exercise and nutrition. At the time, I was working out in a gym and got all the coaching licenses next to it. Then I switched to a personal trainer and learned about massage and kinesiology tapping. When it started racing, it took two IDM events, then I had five riders, at one point I massaged the whole fold. I massaged 12 or 13 hours every day, it is not possible, it is too much. Eventually, I had even given my breaks as appointments, and the drivers even shared the 30 minute appointments. It was 30 to 40 drivers in one day, from kl. 9 a.m. to sometimes noon. 23.00. “

This year, Sannwald is limited to the exclusive support of five riders at five IDM events: two Superbikes, two Supersports and one Supersport 300.

He can not make more arrangements due to overlap with SBK, where he works with Hobelsberger and also fits the young Lennox Lehmann from the Freudenberg-KTM team. Other drivers have already inquired about a possible collaboration.

The passionate angler can make a complete training and nutrition plan for a driver, “on the racetrack I do massage, kinesio taping and fall treatments,” he added. “If a motorist has muscle pain because the muscles were shocked by a fall and tensed up, then I relax them. Most of the time, my drivers come after the first workout or we talk about where there is a problem. You can do a lot with tape and the right muscle relaxation techniques, even against the arm pump. ”

The advantages over the Clinica mobile are obvious: While the drivers who need an appointment and individual support are hardly possible, Sannwald can deliver exactly this to its customers.

“Besides,” Chris remarked, “I can memorize my drivers because I’ve already prepared with them in the low season. Then I know exactly where to put my hands. It makes sense that the factory teams above all have someone to take the riders in hand.This is high performance sport where the pilots are in a heart rate range of 180 or 190 for over 40 minutes.Then the body is drained and empty so you need to take preventative measures and regenerate properly.If I do perfectly coordinated support, I can have a maximum of two drivers per class, ie six per paddock. Otherwise I can not provide the quality and I can not guarantee the support. And I do not want that. It’s not about treatment, it’s about high quality care. I have never made commercials, I live on recommendations and word-of-mouth propaganda. “

Next weekend is Sannwald for the Mugello GP, where he will take care of Marcel Schrötter (Moto2) and Hikari Okubo (MotoE). “I want to be on the go with Marcel as often as possible, the treatments help him,” the 36-year-old said. “We’re fine together, too.”

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