Super bike racing comes to the country for the first time; Buddh Circuit to host event
NEW DELHI: As the countdown begins for hosting of the inaugural MotoGP championship in India, Dorna – the worldwide owner of the commercial rights for the premier motorcycling event says that India is a “natural fit” for the racing extravaganza which is likely to debut here around the same time next year.
Carlos Ezpeleta, MD of Dorna, said that it has signed a seven-year agreement with Noida-based event promoters Fairstreet Sports to kickstart the ‘Grand Prix of Bharat’ – as the high-decibel event will be pitched – that comes to the country after almost a decade of market research.
Incidentally, the motorcycling races – which are one of the most-watched sporting events globally after the Olympics and FIFA World Cup – would be held at the Buddh International Circuit at Greater Noida, which also hosted the Formula 1 racing between 2011 and 2013before they had to be discontinued due to regulatory issues and tax disputes. “India is the biggest two-wheeler market in the world, and holds a strong potential for MotoGP,” Ezpeleta told TOI. “It was a no-brainer to get the races here.”
The entry of MotoGP in India also comes at a time when two-wheeler motoring in the country is gradually upgrading from low-powered commuter motorcycles, to relatively higher-powered and sophisticated ones. Also, some of the top companies who have teams in the MotoGP are also present in the country, and aggressively pushed the case for races here. These include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, KTM and Triumph.
“The sponsors have a huge opportunity to expand in the Indian market, and MotoGP provides one of the biggest platforms for this. Also, we estimate that the minimum investments that a MotoGP event gets to any circuit is around $100 million as infrastructure, hospitality and other areas come into focus,” Ezpeleta said.
The UP government has also promised support to the high-ticket event, something evident from the meeting between Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Fairstreet Sports COO Pushkar Nath said that the central government, including Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, have also assured support to the event.
He added the event will be categorised as a sporting extravaganza and not an entertainment activity.

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By Dipak

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