MotoGP Bharat 2023: Expediting visas for teams, riders, say organisers amidst 'Visagate' row
With just 48 hours left for the maiden MotoGP Grand Prix of India, the teams and riders are yet to arrive amidst delayed visa processing. Dubbed 'Visagate' on social media, several teams, riders and accredited journalists travelling for MotoGP Bharat complained about missing their flights for the race due to the visa being a no-show. Given the uproar, FairStreet Motorsports, organisers of the Indian GP, have issued a statement saying they are making provisions to expedite visa processing.
Several riders including former MotoGP champion Marc Marquez of Honda missed their flights. Nevertheless, several journalists received their visas at the nth hour, with minutes left for flight check-ins to close. Meanwhile, several MotoGP riders including Franco Morbidelli, Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia, Johann Zarco, Jorge Martín, Maverick Vinales and more have already arrived in India.
An official statement from the organisers read, “We regret the unforeseen delays in the visa issuance process. Please understand that this is not a reflection of our dedication and hard work. It's an unforeseen technical glitch that's part and parcel of the challenges faced during inaugural events like this. We're happy to announce that most of the visas have already been processed, with many more on the horizon. Our teams are tirelessly working around the clock to ensure that every participant, from riders to technical officials, receives their visa promptly."
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"We recognize the significance of a smooth experience for everyone involved and kindly request your patience and cooperation during this time. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the MHA and the Indian Government for their unwavering support. Rest assured, we are fully committed to ensuring that all race personnel arrive in India as planned, safe and sound," it said further.
The maiden Grand Prix of India is set to take place between September 22-24, 2023 at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, UP. 82 riders across 40 teams will be competing in Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP championships. This is the first international motorsport event at the race track in over a decade and the second this year after Formula E. Many users on social media also pointed out how the visa process was more seamless for the electric racing championship.