Top 7 things about Bharat GP

All you need to know about the inaugural IndianOil Grand Prix of India
The IndianOil Grand Prix of India is the first top-tier motorcycle race in the country.
The IndianOil Grand Prix of India is the first top-tier motorcycle race in the country.Yamaha MotoGP

The name of the upcoming MotoGP race in India was changed to IndianOil Grand Prix of India a few days ago with Indian Oil coming on board as the title sponsor of the race this weekend. While you may be aware of that, there’s plenty else you need to keep track of to sound like a pro fan this weekend. India is the biggest two-wheeler market in the country and every MotoGP manufacturer sells their motorcycles here, so it won’t be a surprise if the race turns out to be one of the biggest sporting spectacles in Indian history. Not only MotoGP, India gets to witness Moto2 and Moto3 as well. Here’s what you need to know about the race:

A look at the race

The event will take place over the weekend from September 22 (Friday) to September 24 (Sunday). Free Practice 1 will happen on Friday. It will be followed by Free Practice 2, Qualifying 1 & 2, and the MotoGP Sprint Race on Saturday. Sunday will host the Main Race and if you are present at the venue, you will also be able to witness the Rider Parade before that. 

The BIC track was initially made to host F1 races. And over time, it has hosted a lot of high-speed races and events, but nothing so big. The track includes 13 turns and a back straight measuring over 1.06km. A total of 41 teams and 82 riders will compete over the weekend with 11 teams in MotoGP with 2 riders each, 16 teams/30 riders in Moto2 and 14 teams/30 riders in Moto3. The MotoGP race will take place over 24 laps totalling approximately 118.97km. Moto2 and Moto3 will have 17 and 19 laps respectively. There are currently 5 manufacturers in the championship including Ducati, KTM, Honda, Aprilia and Yamaha.

MotoE race: First time outside Europe

MotoE is an all-electric race that has been happening since 2019 alongside MotoGP. However, this is the first time that the race is stepping out of Europe. Although this year it is only a demonstrative one, from next year, it will be in the competitive category.

Possible top speed record this weekend

The 1.06km back straight holds special significance as experts claim that due to the length, MotoGP bikes can possibly reach 370kmph, setting a new record which currently stands at 366.1kmph set by Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) at Mugello. 

Changes made to the track

Certain changes have been made to the track as well for the race including reducing asphalt and increasing gravel run-off area. Safety measures have also improved due to the addition of over 1.8km of additional safety devices including Type A Air Fence, Type A Foam Safety Barriers and Type C Foam barriers imported from Austria and Italy. Red and white colour has also been put on the kerbs.

Impact of MotoGP in the host country

The economic benefits of a MotoGP race are far-reaching. Spectators alone generate an average of EUR 106 million (INR 940 crore) over a race weekend. Although, this figure denotes an average of all the MotoGP races, expect it to be lower when it comes to India. The staff contributes another EUR 6.6 million (INR 58.6 crore). Media impact accounts for over EUR 11 million (INR 97.5 crore) across digital and broadcasts.

MotoGP’s worldwide following

MotoGP is one of the leading competition series in the world. In the realm of motorsports, it is second only to F1 with an annual interest of around 49.7 crore worldwide. In global sports competitions too, MotoGP isn’t far behind. It ranks 10th on the list of annual sporting events in terms of international interest. 

The broadcast of this race is claimed to reach over 45 crore homes in 195 different countries with over 90 broadcasting networks. MotoGP has a huge presence on social platforms as well with an engagement of over 48 crore. MotoGP’s fan base has only increased recently as 82 per cent of the fans have been watching the sport for over 6 years. MotoGP’s fans vary in age as well, with over 59 per cent between ages 18 and 34 and 35 per cent between 35 and 54. MotoGP also enjoys a good following among females as 15 per cent of total viewers are female. 

In terms of the technical side, a total of 180 live cameras will be in operation over the weekend. Over 150 media personnel will be present at the venue creating 180,000 clips of content totalling over 20,500 hours of content. 

Key jargon you should know

Pit lane: The pit lane is typically located next to the start-finish straight on a racetrack and serves as a hub for competing teams. Riders use it to begin their sessions and return for important tasks like changing bikes or adjusting settings. It also serves as the endpoint for riders when their sessions are finished.

Pit Lane Opening: The pit lane becomes accessible 30 minutes before the warm-up lap, allowing riders a five-minute period to leave the pit lane and take their pit positions.

Pole position: The pole position in racing refers to the top spot on the starting grid. It is earned by the rider who achieves the fastest lap time during the qualifying session for the race on Sunday. 

Starting Grid: This is where riders line up to start the race. The grid is organised into rows of three riders each, based on their qualifying performance.

Minute Boards: During the race, three types of minute boards are displayed:

a) Five Minute Board: This board signals that everyone, including teams, guests, and all but two mechanics, must exit the grid.

b) Three Minute Board: At the three-minute mark, all equipment should be removed from the grid, leaving only two mechanics and the umbrella holder with the riders.

c) One Minute Board: When the one-minute board is shown, everyone except the riders must leave the grid. The bikes should be prepared to start, with engines running just 30 seconds before the warm-up lap begins.

Track Kerbs: Kerbs on a race track are usually marked with two distinct colours, such as red and white, and are often placed prominently, especially before or after corners. These kerbs act as track boundary markers, helping riders navigate corners smoothly during both the entry and exit phases.

Parc Fermé: 'Parc fermé,' originating from French, means 'closed park.' It functions as a secure zone where motorcycles are directed at the end of qualifying sessions and races. While previously all motorcycles were sent to Parc fermé for technical inspections after races, today, it is the designated area where either the top three qualifiers or the top three race finishers gather.

Safety car: A safety car is brought out in the case of an accident or caution periods caused by obstruction/s on the track. Its job is to slow down and/or bunch up the pack together.

Medical Car: At the start of a race, the medical car is stationed at the back of the grid. During the first lap, it follows behind the riders but can return to the pit lane if not needed. Its primary role is to provide swift medical assistance in case of any incidents during the opening lap and to assess track conditions when necessary.

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