Source: HT News Service
Published on: September 25, 2023


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On Wednesday, riders and team personnel arrived in droves after resolving visa issues.

Following a couple of days of visa delays that forced many team personnel and riders to miss their flights, the MotoGP paddock finally started pouring in at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida on Wednesday, with the riders and officials having got their visa and taken their flights.

Bike manufacturers cancelled pre-race events

A technical error by the agency hired by the organisers caused several riders, including Spanish six-time world champion Marc Marquez, officials and team personnel to miss their flights on Tuesday for the inaugural MotoGP race in India this weekend. The delay in arrival also forced bike manufacturers to cancel some pre-race events on Wednesday due to non-availability of the riders.

But by Wednesday evening, MotoGP personnel coming to India for the inaugural race had got their visas. “Everyone has got it,” confirmed Rohit Sharma, chief marketing officer of Fairstreet Sports, the organiser and promoter of the race.

While most of the riders landed in India, Marquez, 2020 world champion Joan Mir and KTM’s Brad Binder were on board flights to New Delhi and were expected to reach early on Thursday. “We have a visa. Madrid-London-Delhi,” Marquez posted on Instagram.

Francesco seen chatting with KTM’s Jack Miller

Reigning world champion and current championship leader Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati was seen chatting with KTM’s Jack Miller in the paddock. Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia, who also could not take his flight due to non-issuance of visa, took an autorickshaw ride in the national capital and visited the Lotus Temple. Razlan Razali, founder and team principal of RNF Racing, headed straight to Agra and visited the Taj Mahal with some of his teammates.

Some riders, on the other hand, got down to business immediately. Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin, the main title challenger to Bagnaia, went around the 4.96km track on a bicycle to observe the nitty-gritties of the circuit that cannot be learnt in the simulator. RNF’s Miguel Oliveira too went on a track run, normal for riders to learn a new circuit.

Ducati, VR46 (team owned by Valentino Rossi), KTM among others posted on social media that they had reached the circuit and started setting up their garages and pit buildings.

Aspar – which has teams in both Moto2 and Moto3 – confirmed that their personnel had reached the circuit following the visa delays.

Sunday Main race will be held

The motorcycles and other equipment reached India last week while the riders and team personnel were due to reach early this week to start preparations. The ‘race weekend’ begins on Thursday with track walks and analysing the circuit. Friday is when riders will hit the circuit on their bikes during practice. Saturday has practice, qualifying and the sprint race and Sunday, the main race.

There will also be two changes on the grid this weekend as Michele Pirro comes in for injured Ducati rider Enea Bastianini. Stefan Bradl will be on the Honda of Alex Rins, who is still recovering from his injury.

Disclaimer: Except for the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service