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Posts for Tag: Motorsport Weekends

Motorsport Weekends - 2023 MotoGP of Bharat - Sunday

Raceday had finally arrived! It was the day when Bharat ( India ) would host its first-ever MotoGP race. It was the day when the country would be back on the motorsports map, after a decade! Sunday promised to be a busy day with races in Moto3, Moto2 and of course MotoGP.

We headed out early on Sunday morning to not get delayed in traffic en route to the circuit!

Driving to the circuit on Raceday!

It seemed like we reached the Paddock quite early!

As soon as we entered the Paddock, we got to meet more people from the MotoGP Fraternity!

Mr Paolo Simoncelli, Team Owner, Sic58 Squadra Corsa :

Jake Dixon, Gas Gas Aspar Team, Moto2 :

Ana Carrasco, Boe Motorsports, Moto3 :

David Munoz, Boe Motorpsorts, Moto3 :

David Alonso, Gas Gas Aspar Team, Moto3 :

Franco Morbidelli, Monster Energy Yamaha, MotoGP :

After spending a few hours in the Paddock, it was time to get ready for the upcoming races. Although we stayed in the Paddock for the Moto3 Race, we headed to the Main Grandstand for the Moto2 and MotoGP events.

But first, time for some lunch in the Hospitality :

The walk to the Main Grandstand was through the tunnel, under the track!

Views from the Main Grandstand, the Moto2 riders congregating on the grid for their race :

The MotoGP teams ready the bikes in their respective garages while the Moto2 field gets ready for its race :

Formation Lap of the Moto2 Race ( Video Link ) :

The Moto2 riders lining up for the race start :

Race Start ( Video Link ) :

A turn one incident saw a multi-rider crash, and the race got red-flagged :

The riders return to the pit lane :

Video Link of the Formation Lap of the Race Restart :

The race is about to get underway after a break of 40 minutes, with the length shortened to 12 laps.

Moto2 Race Restart ( Video Link ) :

Shots from the Moto2 Race :

Pedro Acosta wins the race! Joe Roberts overtook Sergio Garcia for the final podium place in a thrilling last-lap battle :

Chequered Flag after the Race ( Video Link ) :

The riders returned to the pit lane after the race.

Pedro Acosta, Tony Arbolino & Joe Roberts, the podium finishers from the Moto2 Race :

Time for some celebrations :

Podium Celebrations ( Video Link ) :

The podium finishers enjoy the adulation from the crowds :

It was now time for MotoGP to take centre stage!

The Team Garages are abuzz with activity as the riders get ready to head out for sighting laps :

The riders heading out onto the pit lane :

The team personnel and VIP Guests make their way to the starting grid :

The mechanics help the riders navigate through the personnel to their respective grid slots :

The Honda riders make it to their grid positions :

Shots from the grid as everyone prepares for the inaugural MotoGP race :

MotoGP Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :

The 2023 MotoGP of Bharat is a go!

Race Start ( Video Link ) :

Some Stills from the race :

The Race in Progress ( Video Link ) :

Marco Bezzecchi won the race from Jorge Martin & Fabio Quartararo. Martin almost lost P2 to Fabio but the Spaniard recovered himself and held on. Joan Mir was P5 for Honda with Marc Marquez recovering to P9 after an early crash.

Fabio Quartararo engages with the fans after the race, throwing over some race wear too!

Jorge Martin suffered from intense dehydration and had to be attended to by the medical staff. This led to a delay in the podium festivities. Meanwhile, we enjoyed ourselves near the podium :

Presenting the podium finishers of the 2023 MotoGP of Bharat :

The Trophy Presentation :

Time for the Prosecco to be sprayed on the podium :

Marco Bezzecchi, Jorge Martin & Fabio Quartararo, the top 3 finishers of the 2023 MotoGP of Bharat :

Video Link for the Podium Celebrations :

With the Podium celebrations done, it was time for everyone to pack up and head to the next circuit. The teams packing up their bikes : 

As I made my final few rounds of the length of the paddock, I met some more motorsports fraternity!

Simon Crafar, former racer & Ace Commentator :

Jose Luis Martinez, Assistant & Best Friend to Marc Marquez :

The Paddock getting emptier by the hour :

The team personnel with the podium finishers' trophy! I also got a moment with Pablo Nieto, the team manager for the Mooney VR46 Racing team :

Pablo Nieto, Team Manager, Mooney VR46 Team, MotoGP :

Meeting riders and personnel continued into the evening!

Joe Roberts, Italtrans Racing Team, Moto2 :

Dennis Foggia, Italtrans Racing Team, Moto2 :

Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsports Wheel Manager, It was Such a pleasure to meet him :

The clock showed 7 pm and it was time to head back to New Delhi after a hectic, action-packed, memorable and unbelievable MotoGP of Bharat! What an amazing experience this had been!

I also made a Vlog about my Sunday Experience on my YouTube Channel!

Video Link :

A Big Thank you to Honda Racing Corporation and Repsol Honda Team for having my friend Yash and me for the race weekend. It was amazing to observe, interact and behold the functioning of the most successful team in MotoGP up-close! We cant wait to return in 2024 and make new memories! The experiences from Motorsport events in 2023 come to an end here. I do hope I am able to present more and share more in 2024! 

Thank you for all your support and there is still some content to come on the Blog ( outside of Motorsport )!

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!

Motorsport Weekends - 2023 MotoGP of Bharat - Friday

The year was 1995 and during my school days, I rarely got any time away from my studies. Whenever I did, I used to tune in to a sports channel to check if there was anything of interest on TV. One day, I saw a motorbike race aired and a certain Mick Doohan led the field on a Repsol Honda bike. That was the moment I got hooked onto Motorsports. MotoGP was my first love & Mick Doohan was my first motorsports hero! Since then, I became a Repsol Honda fan and followed the team's exploits closely! Although I never had the opportunity to attend a MotoGP event, it was on my wishlist for many years.

The opportunity finally arrived when it was announced that MotoGP would hold its inaugural GP in India at the Buddh International Circuit from 22nd to 24th September 2023. Although preparations were in full swing to host a motorsport event after a decade at India's purpose-built track, there were major hiccups and hurdles along the way. Thankfully, after continued support from the government, the local authorities & the organizers, the race weekend was a go!

What was even more amazing was that I got the rare opportunity to be a guest of Repsol Honda for the entire weekend! 

My friend Yash Gosalia, who runs a nationwide sim-racing series called "The Hybrid Theory" was a co-guest at Honda with Prima Pramac Racing hosting another friend in Shamit Desai!

So, how was the experience at the inaugural Indian GP? The Friday experience begins here!

Enroute to the circuit, from New Delhi, but first, we had to pick up our race passes from the Collection centre :

Race Passes in hand, it was time to head to the track!

Welcome to the Buddh International Circuit :

Walking into the Paddock, so many memories come rushing back from a decade ago :

As we walked to the Honda Hospitality, I bumped into some riders from the current MotoGP grid!

Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati Racing :

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team :

Augusto Fernandez, Gas Gas Factory Racing Tech3 :

Miguel Oliveira, Cryptodata RNF MotoGP :

Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Factory Racing Sports Director :

Jorge Martin, Prima Pramac Racing :

After settling ourselves inside the Hospitality, we decided to explore more areas of the Paddock.

Walking to the other end of the paddock & I got to see Sadhguru up close :

Meeting more people from the MotoGP fraternity continued!

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda :

Mr Julia Marquez, the Father of the Marquez brothers :

Soon enough, it was time to follow the action on track, with FP1 getting underway. We sneaked our way up into the VIP viewing area!

The views from the Hospitality Arena, just after the VIP Village :

Shots from FP1 :

The Repsol Honda riders getting used to setups during FP1 :

Practising grid starts at the end of FP1 :

Video Link :

Marco Bezzecchi was the quickest in FP1 from Marc Marquez & Brad Binder. Joan Mir was P10 in the other Repsol Honda.

Post FP1, it was time to enjoy some lunch in the Hospitality area :

Shots of the Area :

The on-track action resumed with Moto2.

Time for the Moto2 riders to find their optimal setups for the weekend :

Post the Moto2 practice session, we had a brief lull and our group decided to head back down to the Paddock and try and get more selfies and signatures!

Returning to the Paddock before MotoGP Practice kicks off :

The decision turned out to be the right one as we met a host of other riders!

Marc Marquez!! Repsol Honda Racing Team! Fan moment with the most successful ( current ) MotoGP rider!

Sam Lowes, Marc VDS Racing, Moto2 :

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Ducati Racing :

Somkiat Chantra, Honda Team Asia, Moto2 :

Lin Jarvis, Team Principal for Monster Energy Yamaha :

Fabio Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha Team & 2021 World Champion :

Marc Marquez' Crew Chief, Santi Hernandez :

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda :

Six-time World Champion & Aprilia ambassador, Max Biaggi :

Pol Espargaro, Gas Gas Factory Racing Tech3 :

Luca Marini, Mooney VR46 Racing Team :

Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Racing Team Manager :

We then headed back to the VIP Viewing area to get ready and prepped for MotoGP Practice. This session was most important since the lap times would decide which riders would qualify for Q2 and which would need to battle it out in Q1 on Saturday.

Enjoying some evening snacks before the start of the Practice :

The track looks stunning as dusk draws in :

Shots from the Practice :