(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) The 2023 MotoGP Indian Grand Prix kicked off on a joyful note on Thursday, immersing the riders in two iconic aspects of Indian culture: Bollywood and Cricket.
The festivities commenced at New Delhi's Buddh International Circuit in the morning, where the riders were treated to a captivating display of India's music and dance through an on-track flash mob.
With inhibitions cast aside, the riders enthusiastically joined a talented group of dancers who wowed the crowd prior to the evening's media press conferences.
A standout moment of the day was the performance of "Naatu Naatu" from the Telugu blockbuster RRR, an Oscar-winning song. Riders like Alex Marquez, Takaaki Nakagami, and Jorge Martin showcased their dance moves to the delight of global fans.
Marco Bezzecchi from the VR46 Racing Team expressed his excitement about the Indian experience, saying, "It is great to be in India. We took part in a flash mob and saw these performers doing the typical Indian dance which has been a fantastic experience. All the dancers were really emotional, so, it's been really good."
Yamaha's Franko Morbidelli also shared his joy at getting a glimpse of India's culture. "The dance was beautiful, I know the last dance, it won an Oscar. It was a pleasure to see it live."
After the morning celebrations, the riders engaged in a friendly game of gully cricket, with World Champions Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia trying their hand at India's most beloved sport.
Cricket enthusiasts on the track might have been disappointed as Quartararo initially struggled to handle some full tosses from Bagnaia. However, he eventually brightened the mood with a stunning lofted straight drive that sailed past a couple of riders stationed as fielders.
Bagnaia, on the other hand, showcased his cricket skills with an expert backfoot play, skillfully pulling a short ball bowled by Luca Marini.
The excitement continued as former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina joined the riders on the track, even managing to hop onto the side-car while Marc Marquez circled the track on a Royal Enfield bike, recreating the iconic Jay-Viru duo from the 1975 Bollywood blockbuster "Sholay."
After the exuberant festivities on Thursday, the riders will shift their focus to serious business on Friday as they prepare for qualifying and the race over the weekend.
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