No MotoGP in India in 2024 as race shifted to 2025

PTI, May 28, 2024, 8:48 PM IST

New Delhi: The India round of the MotoGP championship will not take place on the scheduled date in September and instead has been moved to March 2025, local promoters of the race told PTI on Tuesday.

Reports claiming that the race promoters had not cleared all their dues with rights holders Dorna after the inaugural round last year had led to uncertainty over the second edition scheduled from September 20-22.

However, after Tuesday’s meeting involving all stakeholders — Dorna, and, co-promoters Fairstreet Sports and Uttar Pradesh government — it was decided to shift the round to a yet to be decided date in March.

“It was mutually decided to shift the race to March next year. We are looking at first or second week of March. All the stakeholders including Dorna agreed that the September weather is not conducive for the race and it is tough on the riders and marshals as experienced last year,” Fairstreet Sports CEO Pushkar Nath Srivastava told PTI.

When asked if the postponement of the race had anything to do with unpaid dues, Srivastava responded with a clear ‘no’.

“All payments were being made in between and whatever is left will be paid by next month. So that was not really a factor in shifting the race to next year. We also thought of doing it in November but that would have meant four back-to-back races which would have been tough on the teams and the riders,” said Srivastava.

More than 50,000 fans turned up at the Buddh International Circuit during the inaugural race, just enough to fill half of the facility.

“We also expect more fans to turn up in March as the weather will be better,” said Srivastava.

The current season began in Doha on March 10 and the organisers can slot the India round in the following week.

Ahead of the 2023 edition, Dorna and local promoters had signed a seven year agreement to stage the race in India.

Uttar Pradesh government which was a sponsor last year has now become a co-promoter, raising hopes of a long-term future of the high-profile event.

The 2023 MotoGP round in India, won by Marco Bezzecchi, was the biggest motorsports event held in the country since the last Formula 1 race that took place in 2013. Formula 1 could only last three years in India due to financial and taxation issues.

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