Get set, go: It’s time for MotoGP Bharat

  • | Friday | 22nd September, 2023

Noida: The tracks are ready for the first edition of MotoGP Bharat, which gets under way at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) on Friday.Their arrival slightly delayed because of visas, most of the top racers were at the venue on Thursday, getting a measure of the tracks and soaking in the India experience — literally, since it drizzled for some time in the afternoon. The riders and their team members were welcomed with a dance show at BIC. It didnt take long for some of them to get into the groove — they got off their seats and joined the dancers for a foot-tapping introduction to the three-day fest, which will see 20 events in total.Most of Friday has been reserved for practice sessions, which will stretch from 9am to 5pm in different categories. Spiritual leader Sadhguru will be present at the inauguration ceremony.Saturday has been set aside for practices as well as qualifying races and the 12-lap Tissot Sprint. But the main races — in three categories Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP — will take place after warmups on Sunday.This is the first time that a premier global racing event is being hosted in India since Formula Ones short but thrilling run here ended in 2013 over a tax dispute. Organised by Noida-based Fairstreet Sports in collaboration with Dorna Sports — which holds the commercial rights of MotoGP — the three-day event promises to be a thrilling spectacle with 41 teams and 82 riders. Some of them include renowned names such as Italian defending champion Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi, Brad Binder, Jack Miller and Jorge Martin.Bezzecchi of Mooney VR-46 racing team (Ducati), said he was thrilled to be in India and described the tracks as a beauty. Officials at BIC said around 1.5 lakh people, including spectators at the stands, would be engaged daily at the racing event, which will be telecast in around 200 countries. This is expected to garner a viewership of 45 crore. BIC, which was inaugurated in 2011 for Formula One races, have undergone significant enhancements in safety measures for MotoGP Bharat. Special barriers, 1,800 metres in length, have been imported from Austria and Italy and strategically placed at 13 locations along the 5.1km racing track. Additionally, around 15,000 tonne of gravel, cut to a particular size, have been procured to ensure a smooth ride for the racers, who will zoom at 370kmph. Amit Sandill, director (racing) of Fairstreet Sports, said the tracks were aligned to standards set by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the international governing body for bike racing. A riders performance is affected by weather conditions such as temperature and humidity, the surface temperature of tracks and riding style. We have been analysing these conditions round the clock, he added. In terms of medical arrangements, two helicopters will be on standby outside the venue for airlifting bikers to nearest hospitals in case of an emergency. A team of 135 doctors and paramedics will be stationed as well. Officials at the Yamuna Expressway Authority, which maintains the area, said roads leading to BIC had been repaired and levelled and all beautification work completed. Three additional parking spaces have been created around the venue to ensure visitors do not face any inconvenience.

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