MotoGP fans in India can rejoice for not one, but two reasons. First, the Indian GP, also known as Bharat GP, is currently being held at the Buddh International Circuit this weekend and, amidst the sea of concerns, it is going on without any major issues, meaning the Indian GP is well on its way to being a success despite being MotoGP's first ever weekend in India. Adding to it is the confirmation of when the next year's Indian GP is going to take place. MotoGP will return as the Indian GP on October 6, 2024. Last year, MotoGP committed to race in India, along with Fairstreet Sports, up until 2030 at the Buddh International Circuit.
Currently, the consensus amongst several riders racing in India is that the track temperatures are perhaps the highest of all the tracks on the MotoGP calendar. However, since next year's race is scheduled to take place in October, the temperatures at the Buddh International Circuit will be relatively colder, making it a lot easier for the riders to push themselves to the limit without worrying about the front tyre pressures going through the roof due to heat build-up. Additionally, riders will be able to indulge in close racing as they will comparatively have fewer concerns about not being able to cool the front tyre enough.
The Buddh International has been a bit of a surprise for the riders as they have found it to be more technical than expected. One of the biggest focus points amongst MotoGP riders has been corner 1 which is a hard braking zone and requires riders to be extremely precise with their lines. In the media debrief after the first two practice sessions, several riders mentioned that if the braking marker is overshot by even a couple of meters, their entry into corner 2 gets completely compromised affecting the overall sector 1 timing quite drastically. Additionally, the riders stated that the grip on the trick has been good but only on the racing line as otherwise, it can be a bit slippery.
Some riders also mentioned how the heat of the Buddh International Circuit has been making things harder as the track requires constant input from the riders due to its flowing nature and factors like ambient temperature and the heat from the motorcycle making everything challenging.
With the race scheduled to take place in October next year, most of these concerns will be dealt with and will definitely make for an even more exciting spectacle for Indian fans next year. Do note that the date is provisional and could change at a later stage.
MotoGP Bharat GP: Buddh International Circuit
The entire length of the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) is 4.96km. The track includes thirteen corners, eight on the right and five on the left, with a 1,006-metre straight directly after turn three. This MotoGP race will now cover 21 laps. The BIC underwent major upgrades to accommodate the large-scale international premier motorcycle racing event, including the inclusion of new gravel parts and the building of 1,800-metre-long safety barriers (including air fence barriers). Because of recent upgrades, the BIC is currently one of the few facilities capable of hosting Formula 1 and MotoGP races.
The Lusail International Circuit in Qatar, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and the Circuit of the Americas in the United States are just a few examples of venues that can stage both F1 and MotoGP races.