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Motorsport Weekends - 2023 MotoGP of Bharat - Saturday

After an eventful and hectic Friday, it was time for our entourage to prepare for all the action lined up for Saturday! Sadly, despite several attempts, my camera hardware failed and I was restricted to using my Samsung S23 Ultra for the rest of the weekend. Apologies for the lack of photos, but I tried to capture as many memories as possible from the Saturday.

An early morning start allowed us to bypass the traffic that got built up later in the day.

Enroute to the circuit :

The Paddock packing was relatively empty when we arrived and the teams were still gearing up for the day ahead!

The Paddock looks beautiful on Saturday morning :

While there was silence on the track, we decided to head over to the Fan Village to check out everything on offer at the inaugural race.

Walking over to the Fan Village, some stills of the Village, honestly an underwhelming experience :

As the MotoGP Qualifying neared, we decided to head to the grandstand that we had access to to watch all the action!

Views from the KTM Grandstand, a panoramic view of some iconic turns from the circuit :

Q1 underway :

Raul Fernandez and Alex Marquez qualified for Q2 but Marquez had a high-side at turn 5 that injured his ribs. The incident ruled the Spaniard out of the race weekend.

Video Link of Q1 :

Time for the top 12 shoot out in Q2 and the results would decide the grid for both the Sprint and the Race!

Marco Bezzecchi bagged the pole position from Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia. Joan Mir and Marc Marquez qualified P5 and P5 for Repsol Honda respectively.

Returning to the Paddock after an intense qualifying session :

On returning to the Paddock, we had the opportunity to meet more riders :

Darryn Binder, Husqvarna Intact GP, Moto2 :

Raul Fernandez, RNF Aprilia MotoGP :

Around 2 in the afternoon, we got told by our hosts in the Honda Hospitality that we would be on a garage tour soon.

Visiting the Repsol Honda garage was very special for me. As a fan of the team for more than 2 decades, it was an emotional experience. 

The RC213V up-close! It hadn't been the quickest machine, but the bike in its trademark orange livery looked as stunning as ever!

Photos with the Marc Marquez's ride!

We were then escorted to Marcquez's cubicle in the garage and it was such a humbling experience to sit in his seat! A place where several riders and former champions have sat in the past!

Returning to the HRC Hospitality from the garage we could see the skies get overcast :

Meeting more Motorsports Fraternity!

Razlan Razali, Team Principal, RNF Aprilia MotoGP :

Jaume Masia, Leopard Racing, Moto3 :

We decided to stay put during Moto3 qualifying due to rain hitting the circuit. Thankfully, the downpour was not for long, and we were able to walk across to the stands to watch some Moto2 action.

Moto2 Qualifying underway :

Due to the downpour earlier in the day, the FIM and Dorna called for a joint meeting with the riders, and it was unanimously decided to have an extra practice session on wet tyres to enable teams and riders to gather data ( should there be another downpour ).

Stills from the extra Practice session :

With the practice session, it was time for the first-ever Bharat GP Sprint Race!

Video Link of the Formation Lap before the MotoGP Sprint :

Shots from the First ever MotoGP Sprint in Bharat :

Video Link of the MotoGP Sprint Race Start :

The Sprint is done and the riders return to the pit lane after receiving the accolades of the crowds :

Jorge Martin won the Sprint from Francesco Bagnaia & Marc Marquez. Joan Mir crashed out of the Sprint in the other Honda.

As dusk approached, I had the chance to meet some more riders and get selfies and signatures from them!

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing, MotoGP :

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing, MotoGP :

What an experience ( more entertaining than F1 ) at a MotoGP Saturday! The sprint race concept is much better than the ones witnessed at an F1 event and track activities come thick and fast! 

I also published a Vlog about my Saturday Experience on my YouTube Channel!

Video Link : 

Thank you to Repsol Honda Racing for having us over the weekend and thank you to everyone who made MotoGP of Bharat a reality! The Sunday experience follows shortly!