'Grand Prix Bharat' could soon be a reality, decision likely by Wednesday
MotoGP could soon be coming to India for the very first time in the winter of 2023, if all goes as per plan, providing a massive boost to the sport in the country. The agreement between MotoGP commercial rights owner Dorna and Noida-based race promoters Fairstreet Sports could be signed next week.
Dorna MD Carlos Ezpeleta and CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta will be in the national capital on Wednesday and they are expected to make an official announcement on the ‘Grand Prix of Bharat’.
Speaking to PTI, Fairstreet Sports COO Pushkar Nath said they have done their homework for the organisation of the high-profile race, taking into consideration what went wrong with Formula 1 nine years ago. “India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world. Everyone has a connection with bikes. It has aspirational value. MotoGP is one of the most watched sporting events,” Nath told PTI.
“We have taken all the precautionary steps for the India round. We have taken all the steps to ensure we can race in India for a long period. We are looking at a winter round for India next year.” Akbar Ebrahim, president of the Indian motorsports federation FMSCI, welcomed the development.
“I had mentioned in our AGM recently that talks were on between both the parties and we have been kept in the loop. I have also had a meeting with the race promoters. They know what they are doing and what is needed to pull off an event of this scale.
“I hope the master agreement between Dorna and Fairstreet is signed soon and then we can move on to track homologation and the organization of the race. The support of the government will be key here,” said Ebrahim.
Around 5000 people work on a MotoGP weekend which includes races in junior classes Moto 2 and Moto 3. The race will not only put Uttar Pradesh on the global map but is expected to boost tourism. Nath said the race is not possible without the support of the government and he is thankful to both the state and center for their help in getting the event to India.
“It is like hosting the Commonwealth Games with 5000 people working on the race itself leaving aside the fans and everyone else. The BJP government both at state and center has been really helpful.