MotoGP Bharat: The ‘What’, ‘Where’, ‘How Much’ and everything you need to know
MotoGP is racing its way towards India for the very first time and the marquee two-wheeled motorsports event will be held over the coming weekend in Greater Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh. While motorsports in India may not be as big as it is in many other parts of the world, the debut of MotoGP in the country is testament to the fact that the popularity is on the rise.
MotoGP will enter its 13th round in India with the superheroes taking to their machines to once again put their fastest pedal forward. At present, Italian racer Francesco Bagnaia of Ducati leads the standings with five wins, followed by Ducati's Jorge Martin of Spain who has two wins. Italian Marco Bezzecchi is currently third on his Ducati. But the field is still wide open with every possibility of upheavals on uncharted territory that India currently is.
MotoGP: A brief history
The history of MotoGP is as old as that of India, the independent country. Or almost anyway. The inaugural edition of MotoGP was held in 1949. At the time, races were held across five categories - 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc and sidecars. While four-stroke engines were dominant across most classes for the first two decades, two-stroke engines became a force to reckon with from the late 1960s onwards.
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MotoGP: The superheroes
MotoGP has seen many champions dominate circuits across the world, across time. But some heroes have been more special than others. Take Giacomo Agostini for instance. The Italian snatched 15 World Championship titles and 122 Grand Prix wins over a career spanning 17 years in the 1960s and 1970s, till retiring in 1977. Then there is another Italian in Valentino Rossi who has 9 World titles to his name, seven of these in the premier class. He won 89 races and found himself on podium on 199 occasions. Another of many mavericks in the sport is Spain's Marc Marquez who will also be competing in the upcoming race in India. Marquez races for Honda and has 8 World Championship titles of which six are MotoGP crowns.
MotoGP Bharat: Racers to watch out for
While Marquez will clearly have a spotlight firmly placed on him despite not having the best of times in the ongoing season, there is an intense battle that is brewing between Bagnaia and Martin at the top of the standings. Martin won the previous race, held in Italy, and is likely to have momentum on his side. Bezzecchi too will fancy his chances after his second-place finish in Italy. South African Brad Binder for KTM is another key figure. He, along with Australia's Jack Miller and Japan's Takaaki Nakagami, is the only non-European racer in the current season.
MotoGP Bharat: Schedule
MotoGP India will be held over three days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. MotoGP India events will take place between September 22 and September 24. The main MotoGP - stretching across 24 laps - will take place from 1530 hrs on Sunday, September 24.
MotoGP Bharat: Venue details
MotoGP India will take place at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. This is the same venue that previously hosted Formula One races as well. The main MotoGP race will see 24 laps which translates into a total ride distance of 118.97 kilometres. A lap on the circuit is 4.96-km long and has eight right corners and five left corners. The width of the track is 12 meters while the longest straight is 1,006 meters.
MotoGP Bharat: Where and how to watch
Tickets to MotoGP India can be purchased via BookMyShow and prices range between ₹800 and ₹1.80 lakh. Some of the lower-priced tickets, however, are already sold out. For those wanting to watch the race from the comfort of their homes, Sports 18 has the broadcasting rights while Jio Cinema has the livestreaming rights for the event.