India is hosting a Grand Prix (GP) racing event after a decade, with Formula1 being the last GP event that took place in India back in 2013. Today marks the commencement of the first edition of MotoGP Bharat, and here is everything you need to know.
While many are calling the event BharatGP, the official name still is IndianOil Gran Prix of India.
Buddh International Circuit – Race Venue
The Buddh International Circuit was initially built for Formula1, and a few modifications have been made to host MotoGP races. The number of turns has been reduced from 16 to 13, following recommendations from FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) officials earlier this year. These changes were made to enhance safety and optimize the run-off areas for motorcycles. However, after analyzing the circuit’s video, some riders still had a few doubts.
Now that most riders have seen the track in person, these doubts have been dispelled. Some of the key talking points among the riders have been the elevation changes across the track, the banked parabola of Turn 10, and a more than one-kilometer-long back straight. Event organizers anticipate that riders will be able to reach a top speed of 370 km/h. Interestingly, Brad Binder holds the speed record in MotoGP, which is 366.1 km/h and was set in Mugello.
MotoGP Teams for Gran Prix of India
A total of 82 riders from 41 teams will be participating in various races, including Moto2, Moto3, and MotoGP. The MotoGP event began at 9 am on Friday and is being live-streamed on the JioCinema app. Tickets for the event have already been sold out.
What are the race timings?
September 22, Friday
Practice 1: 4:00 Pm to 5:10 Pm IST
September 23, Saturday
Practice 2: 10:40 Am to 11:10 Am IST
Qualifying 1: 11:20 Am to 11:35 Am IST
Qualifying 2: 11:45 Am to 12:00 Pm IST
Tissot Sprint: 3:30 pm IST
September 24, Sunday
Warm-up: 11:10 am to 11:20 am IST
Race: 3:30 pm IST.
Here are some of the MotoGP teams and riders:
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team: Fabio Quartararo (France) and Franco Morbidelli (Italy).
Ducati Lenovo Team: Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) and Enea Bastianini (Italy)
Aprilia Racing: Aleix Espargaro (Spain) and Maverick Vinales (Spain).
Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez (Spain) and Joan Mir (Spain).
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: Jack Miller (Australia) and Brad Binder (South Africa).
Gresini Racing MotoGP (Ducati): Alex Marquez (Spain) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Italy).
Prima Pramac Racing (Ducati): Johann Zarco (France) and Jorge Martin Almoguera (Spain).
Mooney VR46 Racing Team (Ducati): Luca Marini (Italy) and Marco Bezzecchi (Italy).
RNF MotoGP Team (Aprilia): Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) and Raul Fernandez (Spain).
Ducati team is leading the 2023 season. They have won consecutive 38 MotoGP Grand Prix races with at least one of their riders, including Jorge Martin, Marco Bezzechhi, Francesco Bagnaia, securing a spot on the podium.
The competitors will cover a distance of an approximate 118.97 km.
Ola S1 Pro electric scooter will be used as support vehicle around the track in BIC. Also, the Indian brand will showcase its concept models at the Bush International Circuit.
An Indian rider, Kadai Yaseen Ahamed, received a wildcard entry for the Petronas MIE Racing Team in the Moto3 Class. While there are no Indian riders competing in the prestigious MotoGP class, Ahmad is making his debut in the MotoGP Bharat event. Chennai-based Ahmad is a versatile rider and expressed that it’s a dream come true for him. He previously won the national championship in the ProStock 400 and has achieved strong positions in championships like the Thailand Superbike 400 series and Asia Cup Japan.
Suresh Raina at MotoGP
Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina was present at the MotoGP Bharat event and interacted with the world champion Marc Marquez of the Repsol Honda Racing Team. Raina even bowled to a few riders and took a ride around the track on a sidecar of a Royal Enfield with Marc Marquez at the helm. Many other celebrities are expected to attend the event during the racing weekend.