MotoGp to return to Indonesia
A special press conference confirmed the details announced mid-February of the planned “street circuit” for a MotoGP return to Indonesia in 2021.
There were no new details compared with the details reported then, but confidence and optimism from representatives of the Indonesian tourist authority and the consultancy involved in the massive project.
Plans for a massive resort at Mandalika, on the island of Lombok, include a 4.32-km, 19-corner racing circuit on roads that at other times will be used by the general public.
Mrk1 Consulting MD Mark Hughes confirmed that the circuit will conform to FIM safety standards, with grandstand seating for 50,000.
Tourist board official Ricky Baheramsjah explained that massive investment (previously reported to be more than US$10-billion) would create an integrated tourist destination, with MotoGP the premier event for the race-track.
Dorna CEO said that for some years they had been thinking about reviving the Indonesian GP in what is a major motorcycling market and fan base, “but until now there has been no chance. Now, if everything goes well, we will race there in 2021. It will be something very particular and very special.”
According to the February statement, both MotoGP and World Superbikes will race at the proposed circuit in 2021.
Lombok is still recovering after an earthquake in March last year, killing more than 560 and causing widespread damage in the north of the island.
The track is a significant part of a US$10-billion contract with French company Vinci Construction, which extends also to hotels and other resort and residential facilities, with a 15-year programme of works.
With the Finnish GP also due to join the calendar by then, this would push the total number of races beyond the proposed maximum of 20 per annum. One of the existing races would have to be dropped, with one of the four Spanish rounds (Jerez, Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia) most likely to pay the price … although the British GP at Silverstone is already in jeopardy, if promised resurfacing is not satisfactorily completed.
Cynics will recall that the last time Dorna signed a contract to race at an as-yet unbuilt circuit – the British GP at the proposed circuit of Wales – the project foundered before any construction had begun, forcing a return to Silverstone.
By Michael Scott