A foreign worker paints track markings on the Mandalika International Circuit in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, November 3, 2021. (Antara photo/Ahmad Subaidi)
Mandalika Circuit Gears Up for Major Race Debut
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO
NOVEMBER 11, 2021
Jakarta. The newly-built Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit in West Nusa Tenggara is preparing for the final Superbike race of the season later this month to mark its debut at the international stage.
The upcoming race will become a title decider between championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) and six-time world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Razgatlioglu currently has a comfortable lead of 30 points over the reigning champion but anything can happen in the final race of a dramatic season which so far has seen five different race winners and 13 different podium finishers.
A Boeing 777 cargo plane carrying Superbike logistics and motorcycles landed at Lombok International Airport after a flight from Doha on Tuesday, confirming that the race will be there to watch.
The airport’s runway has been recently extended to 3.3 kilometers to accommodate wide-body aircraft.
A few months ago there were doubts that the beachside circuit will be completed in time for the WorldSBK Indonesian round.
Back in August, the track and protections part was completed but the race control building, the medical center, the TV compound, and the heliport were halfway through the construction.
After the November 21 Superbike race, the 4.3-kilometer circuit will welcome MotoGP readers for pre-season tests in February. MotoGP is one of the most-watched sports in this motorcycle-loving nation but it has been 24 years since Indonesia hosted a MotoGP round.
In March next year, the much-awaited MotoGP race will be held in Mandalika as the second Grand Prix of the 2022 season.
Indonesia, a key market for MotoGP, has been aiming for inclusion in the race calendar since 2017, but it struggled to get a world-class circuit until President Joko Widodo picked Mandalika on the resort island of Lombok to build a brand new racing track from scratch.
The circuit is located inside the Mandalika special economic zone and part of the central government's program to support the local tourism business and accelerate development in the eastern part of the country.
It took less than 2 hours for a flight between Jakarta and Lombok.
The circuit has 17 corners, a 507-meter start-finish straight, and 40 garages. The grandstand seating can accommodate up to 50,000 people while the total capacity reaches 200,000.