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It's official: MotoGP will race in India next year; here's when Grand Prix of Bharat 2023 could take place

MotoGP, the world's premier two-wheel racing championship, will be held at the Buddh International Circuit, New Delhi, which staged Formula 1 from 2011 to 2013.

Its official: MotoGP will race in India next year; here's when Grand Prix of Bharat 2023 could take place snt
First Published Sep 30, 2022, 2:06 PM IST

Marking a grand return to a big ticket motorsport event in India after Formula 1's departure nine years ago, MotoGP on Friday confirmed it will race in the country from 2023. 

The world's premier two-wheel racing championship will be held at the Buddh International Circuit, which staged Formula 1 from 2011 to 2013. 

India has been listed as the 14th round, to be held in September, in a 21-race calendar. Provisional dates for 'Grand Prix of Bharat' are set at September 22-24. 

Also read: MotoGP rides its way to India; fans gear up to witness action at Buddh International Circuit

To sign a seven-year MoU with Indian race promoters Fairstreet Sports, top representatives from MotoGP's commercial rights holder Dorna travelled to India earlier this month (FSS). They also met with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.

The FSS had declared that a MotoGP event would take place the next year, but Carlos Ezpeleta, MD of Dorna, refrained from committing to a specific date in light of the difficulties associated with a season's calendar. Friday's announcement from MotoGP makes the picture much clearer.

Before the significant event, the track will need to be homologated, although given that it has already hosted Formula 1, this should only be a formality.

"We're very proud to announce that Buddh International Circuit will be on the 2023 calendar. We have a lot of fans in India and we're excited to be able to bring the sport to them," Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said in a statement. 

"India is also a key market for the motorcycle industry and therefore, by extension, for MotoGP as the pinnacle of the two-wheeled world. We very much look forward to racing at Buddh International Circuit and can't wait to welcome the fans through the gates to see this incredible sport in person." Ezpeleta added.

UP CM Adityanath said, "It's a matter of great pride for Uttar Pradesh to host such a global event. Our government will provide full support to MotoGP Bharat." 

An event of this magnitude requires strong official backing, and it appears that the state and federal governments favour the race. Due to the financial stability of the race promoters, taxation, and customs concerns, Formula 1 has left India. FSS, which will spend millions of dollars annually to stage the race, is sure that it will be able to get over the administrative and tax challenges. Five thousand people, including staff and riders, are employed during MotoGP.

Also read: MotoGP may make India debut in 2023; but is the country ready to host the pinnacle of two-wheel racing?

On his visit earlier this month, Dorna MD Carlos Ezpeleta said MotoGP weekend generates economic activity of 100 million euros. "This event will provide a major impetus to the economy by generating an influx of foreign investment in the state," said Nand Gopal 'Nandi', a Cabinet Minister in UP government. 

With the country being the world's largest two-wheeler market, Carlos had said, "MotoGP and India were meant for each other". 

"It is a landmark moment for the country and we are happy to have played a role in that," added FSS COO Pushkar Nath.

(With inputs from PTI)

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