MotoGP announces Grand Prix of Bharat in 2023. provisional dates set for 22-24 Sept
MotoGP confirmed that it will race in India on 22-24th Sept. 2023 as the 'Grand Prix of Bharat' at the Buddh International circuit.
MotoGP on Friday confirmed that it will race in India from 2023, marking the return of a big ticket motorsport event in the country after Formula 1's departure nine years ago.
The world's premier two-wheel racing championship will be held at the Buddh International Circuit, which staged Formula 1 from 2011 to 2013. The provisional dates for the event are set for September 22-24 2023.
Top officials from MotoGP's commercial rights holder Dorna had visited India earlier this month to sign a seven-year MoU with Indian race promoters Fairstreet Sports (FSS). They had also held meetings with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
"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.
The track will need to be homologated by governing body FIM before the mega event which is expected to be a formality considering it has already hosted Formula 1. FSS COO Pushkar Nath told PTI that the homologation process has already begun with FIM officials inspecting the BIC track
"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."
Buddh International Circuit's debut will make it the 75th venue at which the premier class have raced, and India becomes the 31st country to host a motorcycle Grand Prix," said MotoGP in a statement.
UP CM Adityanath added: "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." Government support is a must to pull off an event of this scale and the race seems to have the blessings of both the state and central government.
Formula 1 had left India due to the financial health of the race promoters, taxation and customs issues. FSS, which will be shelling out millions of dollars to host the race every year, is confident of overcoming the logistical and tax hurdles. Around 5000 people, including riders and staff, work during MotoGP.
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 the UP government.
With the country being the world's largest two-wheeler market, Carlos had said that "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.