MotoGP organisers and Noida-based FairStreetSports have signed an MoU through which the two will work towards getting the premiere motorcycle racing event to India. Based on what we’ve heard so far both parties are keen on bringing the Gran Prix to India and have 2023 set in their sights.
The round which will be called the Grand Prix Bharat will be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. As per the MoU, the stakeholders have committed to a seven-year contract which should see MotoGP coming back to India over the next seven years.
Speaking at the event, Mr Carlos Ezpeleta, Managing Director, Dorna Sports, said, “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 sport to new frontiers. 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.”
What is incredibly important to a successful long-term relationship with the sport is support from the government, and it's heartening to see that the UP government express their absolute support to the MotoGP being held at the BIC—speaking on the event Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh. “It is a matter of great pride for Uttar Pradesh to host such a globally prestigious mega sports event. 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.”
Although realistically speaking, there’s a lot that needs to align before MotoGP can fully commit to the GP Bharat, including changes to the track and grandstands at the BIC and regulatory changes among other things. Only if all of these can be done -- or at least committed to-- before MotoGP announces their calendar for next year, can we hope for a GP in 2023, which still seems like a long shot. A pilot round could happen as early as next year, followed by a full-scale MotoGP in 2024.
That said, based on what we saw at the recent curtain-raiser, the team at FairStreetSports seem to have the know-how, the drive and the experience to bring and run this event in India successfully and seem to have made more than real progress towards making the MotoGP Bharat a reality.