If you’ve watched MotoGP coverage in the past few years, chances are good that you’re familiar with commentator Simon Crafar. He’s not just any commentator, though—he's a former racer who competed in multiple series, including the 500cc world championship, World Superbike, and the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. You could say he’s got experience, in other words.
India’s Buddh International Circuit is a new stop on the MotoGP calendar in 2023. Designed by Hermann Tilke, Formula One fans might remember its early days hosting Formula One races from its opening in 2011 through 2013. It’s a technical circuit, but there’s a world of difference between operating F1 cars on a track and operating MotoGP bikes on a track. How does it stack up?
While it will be interesting to see what the MotoGP paddock thinks of this track after they’ve had the chance to get to know it over the course of the weekend, Simon Crafar took a few laps of his own with a GoPro to show all the MotoGP fans around the world. What did he think?
In the video, you can see and hear Crafar narrate his experiences as he takes a lap around the track. It’s clear that he’s already been out at least once before this, without the camera rolling—which makes sense. If you’re planning to narrate, it helps to study the material. Overall impressions are positive, with some features striking him favorably when stacked against towering circuits like Suzuka and Portimao.
There are some scary bits as well, with some turns that feel like you’re not able to turn where a racer’s instincts would normally tell you to do so. Perhaps it’s something that can be adjusted to over time, but that’s of course something that probably depends on the individual racer and how they tackle it.
It’s always interesting to get an impression of a course via onboards, because it gives a much different perspective than omniscient, multi-camera professional race footage can do. Getting a sense (even a small one) of what it’s like to be in the cockpit, as opposed to floating above it, gives a small amount of perspective on what the riders will be experiencing. We can’t feel the heat or smell the tires through our screens, but it’s still one more thing to think about when we’re watching the races unfold.