The world’s second-largest motorcycle market will host the World Superbike Championship, with India’s Jaypee Sports International signing a four-year agreement with series organizers Infront Motorsports.
India’s first World Superbike round will take place March 9-10, 2013 at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, near New Delhi. The rest of the 2013 WSBK calendar is yet to be announced, but the Buddh round will likely be second on the schedule behind Australia’s Phillip Island round. The four-year deal will see Buddh host WSBK from 2013 to 2016.
The announcement comes months after Infront signed a five-year agreement to see WSBK race at Indonesia’s Sentul International Circuit. This year will also see the first WSBK round in Russia, with Moscow Raceway hosting the series Aug. 25-26.
“The inclusion of the Indian round in the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship calendar represents a great achievement for our series and reflects our continuous target to further extend its international presence,” says Paolo Flammini, chief executive officer of Infront Motorsports. “India today is one of the most important motorcycle markets in the world, not only in terms of existing bike sales numbers but also growth and the upgrading of the range offered to the consumer. Undoubtedly the inclusion of this event will greatly benefit all the protagonists of our series and will create significant added value for the motorcycle manufacturers.”
The 3.2-mile Buddh circuit was designed by German engineer Hermann Tilke who also designed Mayasia’s Sepang International Circuit, the Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates and Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Buddh, which hosted its first Formula 1 race in 2011, features a couple of long straights and 16 corners including a multi-apex sequence through turns 10-12 designed to be a popular overtaking zone.
The new Buddh WSBK round represents the current shift in the motorcycle industry in India. For years, India’s motorcycle market had been dominated by small-displacement utilitarian models. In recent years however, the market has been maturing with major international manufacturers introducing high-end models including 1000cc sportbikes such as those used in WSBK.
“There are many in India who are passionate about bikes,” says Sameer Gaur, CEO of Jaypee Sports International. “I am sure they would love to watch famed motorcycle drivers compete against each other here at their own world class racing circuit.”