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Visa Problems Disrupt Debut MotoGP Race In India

The entry of Repsol Honda Team riders Marc Marquez and Joan Mir in India has been delayed due to visa concerns.

MotoGP Bharat
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Some of the riders and team personnel set to compete in the inaugural MotoGP round in India, including six-time champion Marc Marquez, are still waiting for their visas.

The entry of Repsol Honda Team riders Marc Marquez and Joan Mir in India has been delayed due to visa concerns, Repsol Honda Team sources told PTI. (More Sports News)

Both Spanish drivers were supposed to attend a promotional event near Delhi on Wednesday, but that has already been cancelled.

"The riders are yet to reach India due to visa issues. So there was no option but to cancel tomorrow's event," a source told PTI.

Dorna Sports is the event's promoter and rights holder. Fairstreet Sports is the event's local promoter.

According to Fairstreet sources, about 1800 visas were required for staff in the paddock, but a technical fault in the application procedure prompted the delay. According to sources, most visas had been awarded as of Tuesday, except for a handful who had insufficient papers.

"The visa was applied on September 5 but due to a technical glitch on the part of the travel agency, the delay happened. 600 visa applications were pending till yesterday, and now most of them have been cleared including the visa to Marquez.

"Few individuals who have not filled up the form properly are left. You can't do anything about that as one has to follow the law of the land. The majority of the team officials and riders are already here," said a source.

For the first time since the now-defunct Formula One Indian Grand Prix, India is hosting an event of this magnitude. Due to financial, taxation, and regulatory concerns, the race was removed from the calendar after the 2013 season.

Dorna and Fairstreet have inked a seven-year memorandum of understanding for the race in India, but the event's future is heavily dependent on how this weekend plays out.

When the Formula E race was conducted in Hyderabad earlier this year, India received its first FIA World Championship status in ten years. The championships are unlikely to return next year after failing to secure a spot on the provisional calendar for 2024. 

Formula E was dissatisfied with how the local organisers delayed preparations till the last minute.

(With PTI inputs)

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