Noida: A huge controversy erupted ahead of MotoGP’s India debut when a distorted map of the country – with Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh missing from it – was broadcast during a live stream of the biggest motorcyle racing event on Friday.
Within hours of the matter being flagged by some social media users, MotoGP on its official account on X, formerly Twitter, posted an apology for the gaffe.
“We’d like to apologise to our fans in India for the map shown earlier a part of the MotoGP broadcast. It is never our intent to make any statement other than that of support and appreciation for our host country,” MotoGP stated.
“We’re excited to be able to enjoy the IndianOil Grand Prix of India with you and we’re with you and we’re loving our first taste of Buddh International Circuit,” it added.
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Practice is scheduled for Friday in all classes — Moto 2, Moto 3, and MotoGP. The qualifying will be held on Saturday and the main races are scheduled for Sunday.
India are hosting a motorsport event of this magnitude for the first time since the 2013 Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, which was dropped from the calendar due to financial, taxation and bureaucratic issues.
Dorna and Fairstreet have signed a seven-year MoU for the MotoGP race in India.
Earlier this month, the Uttar Pradesh government released a fund of Rs 8 crore to its department ‘Invest UP’ for the MotoGP after a proposal from Fairsreet Sports, according to an official statement of the local Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority.
Besides this fund, the local authority worked on beautification and repair woks on connecting roads to the Buddh International Circuit, it added.