Lombok's Mandalika, a resort area in the mold of Nusa Dua in Bali, is set to host MotoGP on its streets in 2021. (Antara Photo/Ahmad Subaidi)

MotoGP Set to Return to Indonesia After 24-Year Absence

FEBRUARY 26, 2019

Jakarta. The government is placing high hopes on Grand Prix motorcycle racing, set to return to Indonesia in 2021 after an absence of more than two decades, to boost the country's international profile. 

The Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation signed an agreement with MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports on Jan. 29 to host the race at Mandalika, a resort area in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. The government has designated the area as a special economic zone for tourism.

Indonesia has hosted several international sporting events over the past two years, including the highly acclaimed Asian Games and Asia Para Games last year. The country has also submitted a formal bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics. 

"What the government is doing with MotoGP and the Olympics is a vision toward becoming a great nation, a winning nation," Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung said.

Indonesia last hosted an international motorcycle race in 1997, at Sentul International Circuit in Bogor, West Java.

Pramono said the plan was also in line with the government's plan to develop Mandalika as a special economic zone for tourism. 

"I am sure of [the government's plan to develop the area] because the people of Lombok are quite open and Lombok has become a tourist attraction during the more than 15 years of its development," he said.

Reflecting on the success of the 2018 Asian Games and Asian Para Games, Pramono said Indonesia demonstrated its capacities to host major international sporting events.

Construction is currently underway in the Mandalika Special Economic Zone to prepare for the prestigious event. This includes developing infrastructure, facilities and the racing circuit itself, which will make use of the roads in the resort area. 

Vinci Construction Grands Projets, a French company that has invested in the Mandalika Special Economic Zone, aims to start construction in October this year, with work scheduled for completion in 2020.

Writing by Christian Lee