MotoGP: The Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, U.P., will be playing host to the inaugural 'IndianOil Grand Prix of India' on September 24, 2023. This will give motoring enthusiasts a chance to ride their bikes around the 4.96km track. Before India's leading energy major — IndianOil — became the title sponsor for the Indian Grand Prix, the event was known as the 'MotoGP Bharat'. This weekend, the motorcycle race will witness the likes of the Italian Francesco Bagnaia, Spaniard Marc Marquez, French Fabio Quartararo, and others. There will be a total of 11 teams and 22 riders competing in the Grand Prix. With just a handful of days left, the BIC is awaiting homologation for bike riders to race in India's first-ever motorcycle Grand Prix. All this comes nearly a year after MotoGP organiser Dorna Sports S.L. and Fairstreet Sports Private Limited signed a 7-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring the premier motorcycle racing championship to India. Even the safety car and bike arrived at the BIC, along with the racing bikes.
Buddh International Circuit: What's New?
For those unaware, three Formula One races were held at the BIC between 2011 and 2013. Now, the Indian track will witness the 13th round of the MotoGP. And in the build-up to the major international racing event, BIC has undergone several modifications to make it ready for the race, including the installation of 1800 metres of new safety barriers (air fence barriers, big foam barriers, etc.) and extension of gravel sections to prevent crashes. Fairstreet Sports has focussed more on the run-off areas — Asphalt has been reduced, while more gravel has been put in place, for instance, at Turn 1, 3, 4, and 5 to make it safer for motorcycles, while barriers at Turn 12 have been moved back quite a bit. However, the overall layout of the track remains unchanged.
Buddh International Circuit: Track Layout
The track measures 4.96 kilometres in length. It consists of thirteen turns — eight right and five left, along with one of the longest straights measuring 1,006 metres. This straight section is divided into an uphill part and a downhill part. This MotoGP race will be run over a distance of 118.97km and will last 24 laps.
With these updates, the BIC joins the list of a few tracks that can host both Formula One and MotoGP races. These include Circuit of Americas in the United States, Red Bull Ring in Austria, and Lusail International Circuit in Qatar.
Besides the MotoGP, the coming race weekend will also host the Moto2 and the Moto3 races. A total of 41 teams and 82 riders will be there on the grid. The main race will have 11 teams and 22 riders, while there will be 16 teams & 30 riders in the Moto2 and 14 teams & 30 riders in the Moto3 race. The race event is spread over 3 days with September 22 having practice and September 23 having both practice and qualifying. The cost of a ticket ranges from Rs 800 to Rs 1,80,000 for roughly 1 lakh seats, depending on the visitor's budget.