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India’s MotoGP race shortened




India’s MotoGP debut will be shortened by three laps, organisers said Saturday after riders demanded the race be cut back in the face of “horrible” heat at the Buddh International Circuit.

India is hosting the 13th of the 20 MotoGP races this season at the Buddh track on the outskirts of capital New Delhi, which hosted Formula One for three seasons until 2013.


But top riders including world champion Francesco Bagnaia condemned the conditions after Friday’s two practice sessions.

“You feel your throat burning on the back straight,” the Ducati rider told reporters. “Your throat is burning, your legs are burning.”

Aprilia rider Raul Fernandez added: “It’s horrible. Sorry, but it’s horrible. You cannot imagine on the bike.”

It would be “difficult to manage” the race, he said. “But anyway, I think we are very professional and we have to not think of that and try to do our maximum.”

Organisers said they had agreed to shorten the race.


“After gaining a first full day of experience in the hot and humid conditions – both of which are forecast to continue – riders have asked for race distances to be adjusted,” a MotoGP statement read.

The Sprint, Moto2 and Moto3 races would all be shortened by a lap and the MotoGP Grand Prix would be cut back by three laps, from 24 to 21, “following their feedback and that of official tyre suppliers”, it added.

Ahead of the race concerns had been raised about the safety of the Buddh circuit, with particular fears about walls being too close to the asphalt.

The temperature in Greater Noida was 31 degrees C (87.8 F) on Saturday morning, when riders were seen sipping liquids after their free practice session, and was expected to increase in the afternoon.

Italy’s Luca Marini was fastest in Friday’s second practice session, clocking a dramatic last lap in one minute, 44.782 seconds, just 0.008sec ahead of Jorge Martin.


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Haris Rauf’s BBL participation uncertain as PCB delays NOC: report




Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf’s participation in the Big Bash League 2023-24 is met with a potential hurdle as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to delay the issuance of the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) required for his engagement in the league.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Rauf’s NOC is likely to face a delay until at least December 11, just four days after the start of the BBL. There is no confirmation of an immediate issuance thereafter.

The explanation for the delay revolves around the ongoing National T20 Cup in Pakistan, scheduled until December 10, which the PCB expects Haris Rauf to fully engage in.


Last week, Wahab Riaz, Pakistan’s recently appointed chief selector, disclosed that Rauf had declined participation in Pakistan’s Test series in Australia scheduled for December-January.

Wahab openly expressed his displeasure at Rauf’s decision, with both sides differing on the events leading up to this point. Reportedly, the 30-year-old cited his inexperience in Test cricket as the reason for not agreeing to play in Australia. Rauf conveyed to Wahab that focusing on his white-ball game and fitness would be more beneficial.

Rauf’s potential absence from the BBL could raise concerns, especially for Melbourne Stars, who had enlisted him as a key player. Initially, it was expected that Rauf would only miss the BBL during Pakistan’s five-match T20 series in New Zealand in mid-January. However, further delays may disrupt the league’s plans.

Melbourne Stars had introduced special memberships named “House of Rauf” for the initial three games at the MCG this year, along with a dedicated seating zone called Haris Rauf Bay.

Ongoing delays in Rauf’s NOC issuance may raise concerns among Pakistan’s centrally contracted players in general. Two more players, Usama Mir (Melbourne Stars) and Zaman Khan (Sydney Thunder), are also selected for the league.


Contract discussions between the PCB and the players faced obstacles, partly due to disagreements over the number of foreign leagues players could participate in annually. They seem to have settled on a limit of two leagues, contingent on the PCB issuing an NOC for participation.

The BBL is set to start from December 7, 2023, to January 24 2024.