Already in the run-up to the new stop in the MotoGP calendar was discussed. Visas, customs, income tax, medical care outside the circuit, the safety of the track and and and. It was a seemingly endless list. All these issues came up months before the start of the race weekend at the Buddh International Circuit. So, once again, it was not without controversy. It almost seems as if discussions run like a red thread through the MotoGP season 2023.
The officials made efforts so that the first IndiaGP could take place as planned. Since a few days before the Grand Prix some visas for drivers and teams were still missing, the team association IRTA assured to pay for the additional financial burden of the teams. So at least the teams were not stuck with their costs. But why the company specially commissioned by Dorna, which was supposed to take care of the visas, did not deliver is questionable. For the teams, the visa chaos meant not only more financial expense, but also more pressure. The work had to be done in less time.
A bumpy start to the race weekend in India and it wasn’t to get any quieter. Complications kept cropping up. Marshalls often seemed slightly out of their depth when handling the bikes. They were undisputedly fast on the bike, only then the perplexity began. As a result, endless minutes passed for the riders who actually wanted to get back on the track quickly. On Friday noon there was an alleged strike or rather the marshals were missing in several areas of the track. Only after 45 minutes they resumed their work, so that the second free practice of the Moto3 could take place.
Then on Saturday the super disaster happened – it started to rain. Not surprising, because in India, as in all countries on the Asian continent, it is the rainy season in September. Shortly before the start of the Q2 session of the Moto3 the clouds opened their floodgates and it began to rain torrentially. The session was paused and the rain waited. In the meantime, a WhatsApp group ran hot, because since the latest MotoGP riders organize themselves among themselves. Tenor of the group, if the track is wet, it is too dangerous with the short run-off zones. In short, there was a strike of the MotoGP riders shortly before the start of the sprint race.
Dorna was keen to oppose this. A 15-minute wet session after the Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying sessions was created for the MotoGP riders. The riders should get used to the conditions. In addition, the teams were allowed to dry the starting positions of the riders with leaf blowers. What was also tried from the official side, in the end the sprint took place. Not without crashes and the call of stiffer penalties, but the sprint took place, as well as the races on Sunday.
All in all
Overall, this first GP in India seemed chaotic and improvised over long stretches. It was a far cry from the professionalism that we’re so used to seeing in the premier class of motorcycle racing. Also, the fact that the riders are finally organizing themselves and showing that they no longer let everything happen to them is a good step in my eyes. They are Dorna’s capital, they should take care of that. It only works with them. But what also remains is the effort of the officials and the joy of the fans. Time will tell if and how often MotoGP will make a guest appearance in India. Formula1 wasn’t a guest there for long either.
Your Miss MotoGP