On Friday, September 22, MotoGP issued an apology for displaying an inaccurate map of India during a live broadcast of a practice session at the Buddh International Circuit. The apology followed criticism from internet users who pointed out that the map did not include the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
In a message posted on X, MotoGP expressed their apology, saying, “We want to extend our apologies to our fans in India regarding the map displayed during the MotoGP broadcast. Our sole intention is to convey our support and gratitude for our host country. We are thrilled to share the excitement of the IndianOil Grand Prix of India with you and are truly enjoying our experience at the Buddh International Circuit,” MotoGP stated.
MotoGP India, now known as the IndianOil Grand Prix of India, is set to make its inaugural appearance in the 13th round of the 2023 season. This event, taking place from today until Sunday, features riders competing on superbikes, reaching speeds exceeding 300 km/h, as they strive to claim the checkered flag.
A number of internet users raised concerns regarding the map displayed during MotoGP’s live-streamed practice sessions, leading to an online discussion. Users on various social networking platforms, including X, expressed doubts about the use of the distorted map of India and requested clarification from both MotoGP and the Indian event organizers.
Journalist and author Ajeet Bharti raised a question regarding whether the absence of Bharat’s head in the map displayed during the practice session was an oversight by the organizers or a deliberate act.
He wrote, “Hello @MotoGP, could you kindly explain why the live-streaming of the practice session featured a map of Bharat with its head missing? @DirMktg_iocl, how was this allowed? @dornasport, could you provide insights? I would like to request @CMOfficeUP to take notice of this error and seek an explanation. If it’s an error, it should be promptly rectified and prevented from recurring during qualifying and the main race. If you believe this image is ‘edited,’ please share the practice session footage to debunk the circulating claim on social media.”
It’s worth mentioning that 22 riders representing 11 different teams are set to participate in various sessions during the three-day event. These sessions include practice, qualifying, a sprint race, and the main Grand Prix event, scheduled for next Sunday. These teams will be riding motorcycles from well-known brands like Honda, Yamaha, KTM, Ducati, and Aprilia, showcasing a diverse selection of high-performance bikes.
This marks India’s return to hosting such an event since the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, which was removed from the calendar after the 2013 season due to financial, taxation, and bureaucratic challenges.
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As reported by the news agency PTI, the Uttar Pradesh government allocated ₹8 crore to the ‘Invest UP’ department for the MotoGP event, following a proposal by Fairsreet Sports. This information was confirmed in an official statement from the local Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority.