until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


MotoGP's Indian GP shelved for 2024, will be 2025 opener

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The 2024 Indian Grand Prix that was set to take place in mid-September has finally been officially delayed by MotoGP series organiser Dorna after months of political wrangling.

Rather than disappearing completely, the race at the Buddh International Circuit will instead become the opening round of the 2025 campaign as the traditional season opener in Qatar is pushed back due to religious holidays.

That in turn opens up the opportunity for the postponed Kazakhstan Grand Prix to take a 2024 calendar slot despite ongoing questions about the readiness of the Sokol circuit there.

Indian GP, MotoGP

There has been speculation for weeks that this year’s race at the Buddh circuit outside the Indian capital Delhi would be cancelled, with both Dorna and the race’s organiser, Fairstreet Sports, trading incredibly irate words in recent weeks in a row about the payment of money due from last year’s inaugural running.

That process has been further complicated by India’s current ongoing general election, with results day on June 4 being seen as something of a provisional deadline for confirming or denying whether the race would go ahead on September 22.

It seems that the relationship between series and race organiser has been patched up somewhat, but with only a few months until the race is scheduled to go ahead and with tickets not even on sale the compromise reached as part of their negotiations is that the race moves to a more hospitable part of the year and become 2025’s season opener.

Indian GP, MotoGP

Decried by many of the MotoGP grid as the worst physical conditions they had ever raced in thanks to a combination of high temperature, humidity and air pollution, it’s been a goal of the race’s organiser to move it to an earlier part of the year - with March’s climate (similar to spring in much of southern Europe) seen as far more favourable.

"It was mutually decided to shift the race to March next year. We are looking at the first or second week of March," Fairstreet Sports CEO Pushkar Nath Srivastava told Indian news agency PTI.

"All the stakeholders including Dorna agreed that the September weather is not conducive for the race and it is tough on the riders and marshals as experienced last year."

And despite the Qatari round at the Lusail circuit traditionally (and contractually) MotoGP’s season opener, the date clash with the holy month of Ramadan from February 28 until March 29 already presented questions about how that would be managed - something that has been solved at least for now by this new temporary arrangement with India.

The deal could also even see not one but two trips made to the Buddh circuit in 2025, should MotoGP also elect to move its normal pre-season test at Lusail to the track as well, something that would make sense from a logical and operational standpoint.

However, while that might have in theory fixed many of Dorna’s issues as it attempts to squeeze the delayed Kazakh round into the schedule for 2024, it is not yet certain that that will be a seamless task even after the race’s initial delay from it’s June date, ostensibly because of flooding in the northern part of the country in April.

The track itself is now believed to be completed at last and ready to receive homologation.

Instead, the outstanding issues are believed by The Race’s sources to relate to other infrastructure issues such as road access, timekeeping and high-speed internet, meaning that even despite the new spot for it on the calendar, it might still be a race against time in order to have it fully functional by September.

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