Espargaro: MotoGP needs to think about how to manage hotter races
The physical capabilities of MotoGP riders were tested on the series’ first visit to the Buddh International Circuit last weekend, with Jorge Martin requiring medical intervention after suffering from dehydration and several others reporting a burning-like sensation in the throat due to high temperatures and humidity in Delhi.
The race had already been cut short by three laps on safety grounds, but it remained a tough challenge for riders, who felt the conditions were even worse than what they face in other circuits near the equator such as Sepang and Mandalika.
Espargaro, who is yet to fully recover from the fractures he sustained in the Portuguese season-opener, said he felt “weak” during the race and had to turn down his pace just to make it to the finish.
The Spanish rider agreed with the suggestion that MotoGP should reduce the length of other races if the temperature gets too high, having felt the conditions in India on Sunday were “over the limit”.
“We cannot face these kinds of conditions, it’s pretty tricky,” he said.
“We just put a sensor on the bike, on the fuel tank. It’s where we breathe in the straights and it was like 65C. So the air is coming toward our body. So you can imagine this is hard.
“Also because it was one of the longer races on the calendar. Like for example in Barcelona we took 38 minutes to make the race and to make this distance here it was about 42.5 minutes.
Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“So this was, I think, the longest race on the calendar. So together with the hottest conditions and higher humidity, I think it was too much.
“We didn’t face these extreme conditions in other places, maybe it would be good to change the schedule to come here in another timeline during the year.
“For sure, if we face the condition in other places, for example, Malaysia, we would be glad to change and reduce the race, for sure.”
Although India is now considered the hottest and the most physically challenging race on the conditions, MotoGP riders have to deal with high temperatures in a number of other countries as well.
Espargaro revealed riders are planning to bring up this topic in Motegi this week and feels MotoGP should have a plan in place to tackle such situations in the future.
“We all the riders are going to talk a little bit in the safety commission, in the next one,” he said.
“The bike is a machine, it gets super hot, and this heat comes to [us] as well. So it’s not just the ambient temperature, it’s also the temperature the bike is delivering to the rider.
“I believe we are young, we are athletes, we are prepared for many things but this kind of temperature is a little bit over the limit.
“So maybe it’s so easy to change the calendar a little bit to come in [to races] during better weather conditions.
“That would be great and it’s possible so we need to think a little bit about it.”