MotoGP India pre race weekend activity begin at Buddh International Circuit. Photo by Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images

MotoGP India Preview: The Festivities Begin

September 21, 2023
MotoGP
by Ray Milton

The IndianOil Grand Prix of India joins the MotoGP calendar for the first time this weekend. Over 500 visas have been issued to get the event rolling ensuring the riders and staff will be able to enter the country. Vaibhav Sinha, CEO of Fairstreet Sports (the organizer of the event) had the following words in an interview with Sportskeeda Business of Sports. “There is a huge potential for MotoGP to become a mass sport in India. The sport as it has been seen in Latin America and South America motorcycle is a more massy sport than Formula 1. To add to this, India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world. As per Nielsen Sports Fan Insights 2022 Report, with a staggering population of 1.4 billion and an annual sale of 18 million bikes, India stands as the largest global market for motorcycles.”

Sinha Continued on the Fan Base in India

“The natural affinity between the audience, riders, and owners of motorcycles like Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Ducati, which also happen to be the brands competing on the racing track, is a significant factor. This connection creates a genuine resonance with the sport and the teams, forging a strong bond between the audience and MotoGP. Even though Formula 1 is bigger than MotoGP globally, the potential for India to embrace the sport is immense. India is a market that is more accepting of a mass sport like MotoGP.

The series is expecting fan numbers in the hundred of thousands over the weekend. Previous to the weekend there were concerns that the organizer would not be able to get the infrastructure setup in a timely matter for the series to go racing on time. As of today we haven’t heard of any new delays. MotoGP does have the option to forgo certain sessions on Friday to help provide more time but ideally all will be completed by the end of the day Thursday. We will report back on any delays that may arise in the close stages of setup.

MotoGP Race Schedule (Local time)

September 22, Friday
Free Practice 1: 11:15 AM to 12:25 PM 
Practice: 3:30 PM to 4:40 PM

September 23, Saturday
Free Practice 2: 10:40 AM to 11:10 AM 
Qualifying 1: 11:20 AM to 11:35 AM 
Qualifying 2: 11:45 AM to 12:00 PM 
Tissot Sprint (12 laps): 3:30 PM

September 24, Sunday
Warm-up: 11:10 AM to 11:20 AM
Rider Fan Parade: 11:30 AM
Race (24 laps): 3:30 PM IST