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Business News/ Sports / India's inaugural MotoGP round hit by visa chaos, teams and riders unable to fly: Report
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India's inaugural MotoGP round hit by visa chaos, teams and riders unable to fly: Report

Among the eminent list of paddock denied visa include factory Honda squad and both its riders, including eight-time world champion Marc Marquez.

Track for the MotoGP Bharat that will be hosted at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on September 22-24. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
Track for the MotoGP Bharat that will be hosted at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on September 22-24. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

Weekends are always special, but this weekend is more special as it is supposed to mark the inaugural MotoGP round in India. The Formula 1 venue – the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida – is all set to welcome the racing team on September 22-24.

The event faced multiple bouts of uncertainty, including track works – that was recently finished, and the homologation process – yet to be finalized.

As per a report by Autosport, Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro clearly said that riders are standing united on the subject of track safety. They also made their point that they will inspect it themselves on Thursday, before voting on whether to race or not.

While track safety was an issue to consider, another major issue popped in -- visa issues. The report noted that many paddocks have been turned away from flights having not received the necessary visa.

ALSO READ: MotoGP Bharat: Safety car and bike arrive at Buddh International Circuit for Grand Prix of India

Among the eminent list of paddock denied visas include the factory Honda squad and both its riders, including eight-time world champion Marc Marquez.

Referring to a picture of himself on his mountain bike, Marquez posted on his social media: "Flight delayed due to lack of visa for India, so we're going to pedal for a little while."

Assuming his visa arrives, he hopes to be able to board a flight to India on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, teams like Ducati and Aprilia, have been able to travel. On the contrary, there is confusion over the scene. Affected teams are pointing fingers at the various agencies in charge of making the relevant arrangements -- be it European or Indian.

Citing reasons such as visa denial or delay, Honda has been forced to cancel a factory visit with its riders in India. Several media and photographers have missed flights as they didn't get their visas on time.

The International Road-Race Teams' Association (IRTA) has promised to reimburse outfits, who have had to pay to have their flights changed, according to the report.

The event organizers are hoping everyone will be able to land in Delhi by Thursday and that it will begin on the weekend. But depending on how the visa situation unfolds, the proposal to curtail Friday's running either partially or fully is on the table.

In 2022, the same measure was put into place at the Argentina Grand Prix when technical issues with cargo planes meant freight arrived at Termas de Rio Hondo late. Friday's running was canceled as a result of this.

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Published: 20 Sep 2023, 11:17 PM IST
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