Grand Prix of Bharat: India set to host MotoGP race in Uttar Pradesh in 2023
India is set to host its first-ever MotoGP championship race in the winter of 2023, according to reports on Saturday (September 17).
MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheel racing. The master agreement between MotoGP commercial rights owner Dorna and Noida-based race promoters Fairstreet Sports could be signed as early as next week.
Dorna MD Carlos Ezpeleta and CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta will be in the national capital on Wednesday (September 21) and they are expected to make an official announcement on the Grand Prix of Bharat, according to a PTI report.
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The round is most likely to be held at the Buddh International Circuit, once home of the Formula I Indian Grand Prix, which was discontinued due to financial, tax and bureaucratic hurdles.
The FIM homologation of the track will be done only after the agreement is signed between the MotoGP rights owner and race promoters.
Fairstreet Sports COO Pushkar Nath told PTI they have done their homework for the organisation of the high-profile race, taking into consideration what went wrong with Formula 1 nine years ago.
“India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world. Everyone has a connect with bikes. It has aspirational value. MotoGP is one of the most watched sporting events,” Nath said.
“We have taken all the precautionary steps for the India round. We have taken all the steps to ensure we can race in India for a long period. We are looking at a winter round for India next year.”
Akbar Ebrahim, president of Indian motorsports federation FMSCI, welcomed the development.
“I had mentioned in our AGM recently that talks were on between both the parties and we have been kept in the loop. I have also had a meeting with the race promoters. They know what they are doing and what is needed to pull off an event of this scale.
“I hope the master agreement between Dorna and Fairstreet is signed soon and then we can move on to track homologation and the organisation of the race. The support of the government will be key here,” said Ebrahim.
Around 5,000 people work on a MotoGP weekend which includes races in junior classes Moto 2 and Moto 3. The race will not only put Uttar Pradesh on the global map but is expected to boost tourism.
Nath said the race is not possible without the support of the government and he is thankful to both the state and Centre for their help in getting the event to India.
“It is like hosting the Commonwealth Games with 5000 people working on the race itself leaving aside the fans and everyone else. The BJP government both at state and centre have been really helpful.
“They also want to boost tourism in India. People will be coming from Europe and other parts of the world and it would be shown live in 200 countries,” said Nath.
Fairstreet Sports will be paying millions of dollars to Dorna for the race every year.
(With Agency inputs)