FIM Cancels Indian Round Of World Superbikes

The Indian round of World Superbikes has been officially canceled. Today, the FIM officially announced that the event, scheduled to be held at the Buddh International Circuit on 17th of November, has been called off due to 'operating challenges'. The FIM press release holds open the possibiity that the race could be on the calendar again at a later date, though the press release speaks of 2015, rather than next year.

The cancellation had been rumored for some time. The Indian WSBK round had already been rescheduled, moved from being the second race on the calendar, taking place a month after Phillip Island, to being the final event on the 2013 calendar. But continuing logistical challenges, focused on the difficulties in getting bikes and equipment in and out of India for the race and dealing with the associated cost and bureaucracy, made it increasingly unlikely that the race would take place. The press release, though it speaks only of 'operational challenges', also makes explicit mention of the training of marshals. It appears that the organizer Jaypee Sports and the Motor Sports Clubs of India were unable to train enough marshals in time for the event. Training will continue to rectify this situation, as the circuit hosts national championships for both four and two-wheeled series.

A lack of marshals has been a problem at other events. For the MotoGP season opener at Qatar, for example, Dorna flies out a huge group of Spanish marshals to work at the race, due to a lack of qualified local volunteers. That cost is very easily covered by the massive sanctioning fee the Qatari federation pays to host the opening event. That was not an option for the Indian round of World Superbikes, as the former World Superbike organizer, Infront Motor Sports, is rumored to have offered the Indian WSBK round to Jaypee Sports for a bargain basement price. Only by raising the amount the circuit pays to the organizers could such a cost be covered, in addition to the massive cost of flying the teams and their bikes and equipment in and out of the country.

With the Indian round of World Superbikes now canceled, this will mean the series wraps up at Jerez, on the 20th of October.

The official FIM press release appears below:

FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships Change to the 2013 calendar, 14 August

The FIM has announced that, owing to operational challenges, Jaypee Sports International Ltd (JPSI) and Dorna World SBK Organization (DWO) have decided to cancel the 2013 WSBK Indian Round that was scheduled to be held at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) on 17 November 2013.

JPSI, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and the Indian Motorsport Marshals Club (IMMC) are working intensely together to make the Indian round as safe as possible in preparation for 2015. As a starting point, the BIC will play host to both the FMSCI 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler National Championship races from 13 to 14 September with fully trained IMMC Marshals officiating at the venue. JPSI has conveyed this to DWO, who appreciate the efforts being made to make it possible to host a round at some time in the future.

FMSCI President Mr. Vicky Chandhok said: “JPSI confirms its interest in going ahead with the race in the future. We look forward to them concluding an arrangement with DWO in order to arrive at a mutually convenient date and to ensure that India has the privilege of hosting a round in the near future.”

Back to top


Because at first glance my brain auto-completed thusly:
FIM Cancels Indianapolis Round Of ...

I do feel sorry for the local fans. The geographically closest race is Qatar, still over 2500 km away.

If a country does not have basic racing infrastructure like track marshals in place, then should it be hosting a world championship event?

Surely a world championship event should be a sufficient 'carrot' for countries to ensure they train marshals. This then means they will have marshals to run their own domestic racing events - or do they not bother with small details like that?

I feel very bad that the first big motorcycle racing event in India has been cancelled along with next year's Formula 1 event. I have been reading everywhere that the lack of adequately trained marshalls and medical practitioners is the reason. But that is the biggest and most unconvincing reason cited to cover up the main reason. India has a couple of circuits of F3 standards and a National Rally Championship and all these events have enough number of marshalls and medical staff (though the marshalls may not be the best in the world), and more importantly the Buddh Circuit has already hosted two rounds of F1 in the past two years and will do so again at the end of this year. Where did all the marshall's come from for these events?

The issue is simple. It is bureaucratic red tape and the greed of the officials and politicians which puts up obstacles which are near impossible to surmount. Early next year the country goes to polls and I think the Indian organisers are hoping that there will be a change of government and that the new government will consider motorsport also as a sport, whereas the present government with Mr. M S Gill as the sports minister refuse to categorise motorsport as sport. The 2015 dates are mainly to give enough time to lobby by the organisers and god forbid if the same set up returns to power, that may just mean the end of all racing events in India. Hypocritical politicians and useless bureaucrats drunk on power can do this to a country. Very sad.