MotoGP is growing in a country of 178 million motorcycles


New Delhi, Oct 7 (EFE).- Manufacturers have claimed 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. EFE visited the region.

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

“It’s a market that consumes a lot of motorcycles and manufacturers see that if they go for MotoGP they will consume more motorcycles in general and 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 it to India. the best pilots on the planet.

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


Although it is 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, Fairstreet Sports COO Pushkar Nath told EFE.

“At the moment people know about MotoGP but there’s not a lot of following,” he said.

To spark that interest, they’re designing a “nearly 25 cities” tour that will organize activities and small motorcycle tours to entice people to come to the grand prix, which is due to take place September 22-24, kicking off sending Asia tour.

India’s inclusion follows the league’s recent strategy to expand into Southeast Asia, following the addition of Thailand in 2018 and Indonesia this season, all countries where the motorcycle is the main means of transportation.

However, Ezpeleta is no stranger to MotoGP’s lack of entrenchment in India compared to the rest of the region, seeing it as “a huge opportunity for growth”, although he insists there is has “a very great interest (y ) the love of the pilots”.


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

“India is going to boost its tourism industry, which is trying to recover from covid, a lot of foreign tourists and a lot of Indian tourists will come. People are not just coming for the race, they will also visit different places. The Taj Mahal n It’s only an hour and a half from the circuit,” said Nath.

The average attendance for a MotoGP Grand Prix is ​​150,000 people according to the promoter’s data, receiving 22.5% of foreign fans who spend an average of $920 on weekends, more than double the $445 spent by fans. local.

In addition, Nath estimates that the race could indirectly create 50,000 additional jobs in sectors such as hotels, restaurants or technology, in addition to the approximately 5,000 jobs necessary for the development of each grand prix. In total, the impact of an event like this is just over $100 million, of which 21% goes to activities indirectly related to the grand prize, according to the promoters.


Although it made its debut in the MotoGP world championship, the Buddh circuit hosted several national competitions and hosted Formula 1’s “Grand Cirque” between 2011 and 2013, but it was removed from the calendar after disputes between the regional government of Uttar Pradesh and the organizers. .

The authorities’ view of Formula 1 as entertainment, not a sport, dramatically increased the taxes organizers had to pay which, together with customs issues, meant the end of the grand prix. But these mistakes will not be repeated, assured Nath, because the government recently recognized motorcycle racing “as a sporting event”.

“We were with the government and they confirmed they would do anything to help the people of Fairstreet and they told us we were fine. They were the ones who gave us the guarantee that there would be no problem,” Ezpeleta said.

Hugo Barcia


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