The opening day of track action for the Indian Grand Prix has been hit by a 45-minute delay due to what has been described as a logistical issue.
This is believed to have been related to a shortage of track marshals - thought to have been caused by a number of the corner workers refusing to continue working due to a lack of drinking water.
The delay occurred before the start of Moto3’s second session, initially scheduled to start at 1315 local time, directly after a one-hour lunch break.
However, that session was initially delayed ‘due to track conditions’ yet without championship promoter Dorna showing the usual TV pictures of inspection or track work normally broadcast in such situations.
It was 1400 before the green flag was eventually waved to get the afternoon’s action underway, creating a 45-minute delay that will see Moto2 rescheduled to 1505 local time and MotoGP’s second-ever practice session at the Indian circuit getting underway at 1615.
According to The Race’s sources in the paddock, the reason for the delay was not due to any issue with the Buddh circuit, but rather because the track workers had refused to continue working in 35ºC heat without drinking water.
When asked for comment by The Race, a spokesperson for Dorna only confirmed that the delay was due to ‘logistics issues’ but declined to elaborate on the exact nature of these.
There was also speculation that the sessions were being held up because of a mysterious riders' meeting taking place in the paddock.
A group meeting was originally planned between the 22 riders for Thursday evening, but it's rumoured that another meeting was then scheduled during the lunch break between the first two MotoGP practice sessions.
After months of expressing concerns about whether the necessary upgrades would be made to make the former Formula 1 track more appropriate for motorcycle racing, riders had been much more positive once they arrived at the Buddh circuit and explored it on foot, with Pol Espargaro suggesting on Thursday that they had collectively been too "harsh" on the track before.
In any case, the delay isn’t the first logistical problem that the series has so far faced this week in its first-ever trip to India, with most of the paddock only receiving their visas to enter India (organised through Dorna’s approved agency) at the last minute, and some teams forced to spend tens of thousands of Euros rebooking flights at very late notice as a consequence.