With the 2020 schedule having been completely overhauled due to the Covid-19 scenario, the resultant Spanish races in the height of summer meant track temperatures surpassing 60 degrees Celsius and some of the most testing riding conditions imaginable as the field raced for the first time in five months.
“To be honest, Race 1 was the worst weather conditions I have ever raced in – and I believe the worst anyone on the grid has ever raced in during their career,” Redding says in Tuesday’s Full Throttle podcast, chatting with Eurosport commentator Greg Haines.
“It was like Thailand on steroids, that’s the only way I can explain it. No air. You can’t really breathe. It was so hot. You had the dry heat followed by the humidity – and that is what was getting at everyone. Going out on the Sighting Lap, you had extremely hot air coming through the leather suits. It was almost like scratching your head and thinking, ‘Are we actually about to go and race in these conditions?’
“In Race 1, when I was behind Toprak (Razgatlioglu) and Johnny (Rea) for over half the race, I was just getting absolutely tucked behind them but biting down and doing what I needed to do. I think it was one of the hottest races ever recorded. The problem I was talking to other riders about is that it’s not just one race. With MotoGP, okay, it’s 40 minutes and a little bit more demanding, but they can hydrate and do everything for one race. We had to do qualifying, regroup in an hour and a half, go and do a 20-lap race and then the next morning we had warm-up. An hour and a half after that we had the Sprint Race. Two hours after that we had a main race.
“It’s not enough time to get hydration back into your body. It was very borderline but we are professionals and we will do what we have to do to be in perfect shape.”
Similar conditions will be on offer as the season resumes with Free Practice from Portimao on Portugal’s Algarve this Friday. All of the action can be followed live on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player.
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