MotoGP expands in a country of 178 million motorcycles

MotoGP expands in a country of 178 million motorcycles

The manufacturers demanded a Grand Prix in India. The Buddh circuit, 40 km from New Delhi, will see Marc Márquez, Quartararo and company. It will create 55,000 jobs. The impact of such an event exceeds 100 million dollars.

“All our manufacturers spoke to us especially about India, about the interest they had in visiting that country. The manufacturers see that it has a lot of potential,” Carlos Ezpeleta, sports director of Dorna, the Spanish company in charge of organizing MotoGP for more than 30 years.

“It is a market that consumes a lot of motorcycles and the manufacturers see that if they go with MotoGP they will consume more motorcycles in general and from their brand,” he added.

That door was opened earlier this year, when Indian racing promoter Fairstreet Sports contacted Dorna with an interest in hosting a grand prix at the Buddh International Circuit, some 40 kilometers from New Delhi, and bringing in India to the best pilots on the planet.

The final decision was announced last weekend, when Dorna officially announced the calendar debut of the Bharat Grand Prix (India, in Hindi) from 2023, making India the 31st country to host a MotoGP race. .


Despite being the main market for two-wheeled vehicles in the world, with some 178 million motorcycles on its roads, these figures do not translate into a real follow-up of the Motorcycle World Championship in the country, which has barely had riders in the race. elite, the operations director of Fairstreet Sports, Pushkar Nath, told GLM.

“At the moment, people are aware of MotoGP but there is not much following,” he noted.

To arouse that interest, they are designing a tour of “almost 25 cities” that will organize activities and small motorcycle tours to encourage people to attend the grand prize, which is scheduled to take place between September 22 and 24, kicking off the Asian tour.

The inclusion of India thus follows the recent expansion strategy of the championship to Southeast Asia, following the addition of Thailand in 2018 and Indonesia this season, all of them countries where the motorcycle is the main means of transport.

However, Ezpeleta is no stranger to the lack of roots that MotoGP has in India compared to the rest of the countries in the region, considering it “a huge opportunity to grow”, although he insists that there is “very great interest ( and) love of pilots”.


By organizing this grand prix, India aims above all to boost international tourism, create jobs, or promote the ‘India’ brand, while bringing the Marc Márquez, Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia closer to motorbike fans. this country of 1.4 billion people.

“India will boost its tourism industry, which is trying to recover from covid, many foreign tourists and many Indian tourists will come. People are not only coming for the race, they will also visit different places. The Taj Mahal is only an hour away and middle of the circuit,” said Nath.

The average attendance at a MotoGP Grand Prix is ​​150,000 people according to data from the promoter, receiving 22.5% of fans from abroad who spend an average of 920 dollars during the weekend, more than double the $445 spent by local fans.

In addition, Nath estimates that the race could indirectly create another 50,000 jobs in sectors such as hotels, restaurants or technology, apart from the approximately 5,000 jobs required to develop each grand prix. In total, the impact of a event like this slightly exceeds 100 million dollars, of which 21% goes to activities indirectly related to the grand prize, according to the promoters.


Despite making its debut in the MotoGP world championship, the Buddh track has hosted several national competitions and hosted the Formula 1 ‘Great Circus’ between 2011 and 2013, but it was dropped from the calendar after disputes between the regional government of Uttar Pradesh and organizers.

The vision that the authorities had of Formula 1 as entertainment, instead of a sport, significantly raised the taxes that the organizers had to pay, which, added to customs problems, meant the end of the grand prix. But these mistakes will not be repeated, Nath assured, as the government recently recognized motorcycle racing “as a sporting event.”

“We were with the government and they confirmed that they will do everything to help the people of Fairstreet and they told us that we are doing well. They were the ones who gave us the guarantee that there should be no problem,” Ezpeleta said.

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