This weekend the Grand Prix of India will be held for the first time. The venue is the Buddh International Circuit, some 50 kilometres southeast of India's capital New Delhi. It will be a new circuit and a new challenge for the entire MotoGP paddock, making it an interesting race weekend regardless.
The Buddh International Circuit is 5.01 kilometres long and has eight right turns and six left turns. The circuit, which hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2011 to 2013, has three straights, the longest of which is just over a kilometre long. The circuit is about an hour's drive from New Delhi, the capital of India which has a population of over 29 million, making it the second largest city in the world.
Given the hot climate in this part of India, the upcoming Grand Prix weekend will also be hot and challenging for the team and riders with temperatures well above 30°C. After two consecutive Grand Prix weekends in Barcelona and Misano that consisted ups and downs for Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh, this weekend in India will again be about learning a lot and perform in the strongest way possible.
Barry Baltus: “We have arrived in India and what I have seen from the track so far looks quite good. It will be a very hot weekend and we will try to make the best out of it. After the weekend in Misano we need to come back stronger so I am very motivated to do just that. It will be important to learn the track quickly and manage the hot conditions, then we will see how the weekend pans out.”
Zonta van den Goorbergh: “Getting to India was quite a challenge but after a journey of over 26 hours, we made it. I'm very much looking forward to starting here, it's a new track for everyone and that certainly doesn't have to work against us. Of course, it will be a different weekend from what we are used to but that also makes it interesting. We have been doing well lately and we will do our best again this weekend. After a number of crashes and some bad luck, we hope things will fall into place now and then we can have a good weekend."
Jarno Jansen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “We have all arrived in India without any significant problems and the reception was great. It's pretty hot and the conditions remind us of Malaysia. We are going to build everything up as we are used to during an overseas Grand Prix and then we look forward to the weekend with positive outlook."
This weekend's schedule is amended and the time difference with India is 3.5 hours compared to central Europe. On Friday, the two practice sessions are 15 minutes longer than usual to give the riders extra time to get to know the track. After the usual half-hour third practice session on Saturday morning, qualifying starts in the afternoon at 14:15 local time, 10:45 Central European Summer time. The 19-lap race will commence on Sunday at 13:45 local time, 10:15 CEST.