The Ducati Lenovo Team will return to the track this weekend to take on the first Indian GP in MotoGP history. The event has been introduced on the calendar for the first time this year and will be held at the Buddh International Circuit, about 50 kilometres from the Indian capital, New Delhi. With its 4.96 kilometres, the track was inaugurated in 2011 and has hosted three editions of the Formula 1 Grand Prix and several rounds of the Asia Road Racing Championship.
Francesco Bagnaia, fresh off the back of a third place in his home round in Misano despite still recovering from the nasty crash suffered in Barcelona, arrives in India determined to get more important points for the overall standings, which currently sees him leading with 36 lengths ahead of fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing Team). Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will join him in India, to replace the still-injured Enea Bastianini.
Track action will begin Friday at 11:15am (CEST 7:45am) with the first free practice session. The Sprint will be held Saturday at 3:30pm. local time over a 12-lap distance, while the Indian GP will be held on Sunday at 3:30pm (12:00pm in Italy) over a 24-lap distance.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1 (283 points)
“After the race in Misano, I rested, but I also worked hard to get back as fit as possible for the Indian and Japanese GPs that await us in these two weeks. Physically, I feel better, but India will be an unknown territory for everyone. We will work as always to try to arrive ready to face the Sprint and the GP on Sunday. Now begins a very intense and important period, so maintaining concentration and avoiding making mistakes will be crucial.”
Michele Pirro (#51, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 25 (5 points)
“After the Grand Prix of San Marino and the Riviera di Rimini, I am happy to participate in two more MotoGP events, although I feel sorry for Enea. His season is really turning out to be complicated, and I hope he can come back soon. In the San Marino GP, my feeling had been good, and I hope to be able to pick up from there. We are going to India, and we will race on a new track, so it will be a surprise for everyone, and only on Friday will find out the characteristics of this track. In any case, I am calm: I will do my best, and as always, it will be an honour to share the garage with the World Champion.”
- From Ducati Media House