We now have official confirmation of MotoGP coming to India with organiser Dorna Sports and Noida-based Fairstreet Sports signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for seven years to bring the championship here.
The race will be called the Grand Prix of Bharat, and as reported by Autocar India earlier, it will be held at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC). No official debut date has been confirmed yet, but organisers are targeting a slot on the 2023 calendar.
- Grand Prix of Bharat will be held at BIC
- Organisers targeting 2023 debut
- Plans are on to bring MotoE to India too
“No-brainer” for MotoGP to come to India
Speaking at the official event, Dorna Sports’ managing director Carlos Ezpeleta said it was a “no-brainer” for MotoGP to come here given that India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market. “MotoGP continues to earn new audiences and fans worldwide. This makes it imperative for us to expand its presence to new destinations where fans and riders are growing every year. India is key to our scheme of taking MotoGP to new frontiers,” he added.
“Over the past decade, the MotoGP World Championship has gone from strength to strength, thanks to a competitive grid and a well-crafted set of rules. We look forward to gaining a wider fan base in India with the Grand Prix of Bharat.”
India MotoGP: when will the race be held?
Organisers are hoping that the Grand Prix of Bharat will be a part of the 2023 MotoGP calendar. They’re currently in talks with the Uttar Pradesh government and Sports Ministry to make this happen.
However, this is a rather tight timeframe, and 2024 would be a more realistic slot, given that the BIC still needs to be homologated by the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme). The track was originally built for F1 and it hosted the Indian GP from 2011 to 2013. However, it may need some tweaks to make it suitable to host the world’s highest level of two-wheeler racing.
This isn’t the first time the circuit has explored hosting a major international two-wheeler series. There were plans to host a round of the World Superbike Championship at the track in the mid-2010s, but after several postponements that was called off.
However, there is staunch support from the UP government to make the Indian MotoGP round a success. The event is estimated to generate as many as 50,000 jobs, with 5,000 jobs for the race weekend itself. There are also plans to bring the all-electric MotoE support series to India.
"It is a matter of great pride for Uttar Pradesh to host such a globally prestigious mega sport event," said UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "Not only will the event boost the hospitality and tourism sectors, but it will also put UP on the global platform. Our government will provide all the necessary support to make this event a huge success.