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World Superbike organisers worried about Indian customs

New Delhi, March 18, 2013 (IANS)
Superbike World Championship (WSBK) organisers Dorna are hoping the Indian customs would clear their equipment before November's inaugural WSBK round at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida.

WSBK's new CEO Javier Alonso says they are in talks with BIC owners on how to enter the country.

"The Indian Round is the most complicated one we have on the calendar in terms of custom clearance, but we are working with the local agents in cooperation with the circuit owners (Jaypee Group) to find out the most suitable way to enter the country," Alonso told IANS.

"We have been working closely with the circuit management during last months and everything is set up to bring WSBK for the first time ever to India."

The India round was to be held March 10 but it was postponed citing lack of time to train marshals and medical staff. The official announcement had given rise to speculation that the event would be put off indefinitely if not moved out of BIC owing to logistical problems. Formula 1 promoters also had to deal with similar issues before their two successful editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

WSBK has undergone changes since the last season and is now organised by Dorna, rights holders of the Moto GP since 1992.

The change on the calendar has resulted in India getting the season finale. This is also seen as an issue for most teams which will now have to come all the way back to India after the European rounds. The season started last month in Phillip Island, Australia and with the earlier schedule, India would have been next destination.

"We are aware that a new date in 2013 is not suitable at the end of the calendar for anyone, but we did not have any other option for this year event due to the calendar and the different activities at BIC. Anyway, this will be solved for next year’s event," said Alonso.

Jaypee Group, on its part, is confident all issues will be sorted out.

"The management is yet to take a call on the customs issue, but it should not be a problem. Not for nothing we have successfully staged two F1 rounds. We have also paid the licensing fee to the WSBK organisers and are looking forward to hosting another big event," a Jaypee official told IANS.

The Indian government doesn't grant tax exemptions to motorsport activities and that is why Jaypee Group had to pay temporary duty for the teams' equipment ahead of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2011.

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