MotoGP Could Race In Indonesia By 2017
It’s no secret that Dornahas long coveted the thought of bringing a MotoGPround to Indonesia. The Southeast Asian nation has one of the biggest motorcycle markets in the world and the presence of MotoGP in the country could go a long way in boosting that already established belief. The hope of that happening took a major step last week when Dorna executives Carmelo Ezpeleta and Javier Alonso met with senior political figures in the country and the management of the Sentul International Circuit to discuss the possibility of hosting one round of MotoGP beginning in 2017.
The meeting failed to generate any significant progress but numerous reports indicate that both sides are more interested than ever to work out a deal to make it happen. That’s a big reason to be optimistic if you’re like many others who are interested in seeing MotoGP in Indonesia. But before you start jumping for joy, you must understand that it’s still far from a slam dunk.
A myriad of issues still need to be ironed out before any sort of forward-leaning progress takes place. The fact that there’s interest from both sides is a positive thing. But there’s also that issue of working around all the political minefields that has prevented Indonesia from hosting a MotoGP race since 1997.
It certainly goes without saying that Indonesia must have a venue that’s up-to-par with the current standards of MotoGP. The Sentul racetrack used to fit that mold, but ever since the last race 18 years ago, the track has become a shell of what it once was and there’s no way that it could host a race of the quality of MotoGP in its current state.
The other issue is something that neither Dorna nor the management of the race track have any control over. Indonesia is a notoriously corrupt country and there’s legitimate concern from all levels involved in MotoGP that it could rear its ugly head in some form or another and prevent teams from performing to their peak abilities should a race be held in the country In the future.
Such concerns are well-founded and, quite frankly, legitimate. All that said, Dorna is optimistic that it could happen. It’s going to take a lot of work from a lot of people with the same end-goal, but if these people play their cards right, we could very well see a MotoGP round in Indonesia in the future.
Continue reading to read more about why MotoGP needs to have a round in Indonesia.
Why it matters
I fully support putting a MotoGP race in Indonesia because I’ve seen first-hand just how much the Indonesians love their motorcycles. Having said that, the concerns posed by Dorna are legitimate, especially the condition of the Sentul International circuit.
It often happens with a lot of sports stadiums and race tracks that can’t sustain the exorbitant costs of maintaining their condition without earning any revenues to help shoulder the costs. Take a look at what happened to the arenas built in Athens, Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The lack of foresight to help sustain those venues after the Olympic has led to most of them being left abandoned. In some ways, that’s also what happened to the Sentul race track.
If Dorna does go back to Indonesia, there needs to be a massive rehabilitation of the race circuit so that it can accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people who will go to three-day event. That’s up to the management of the race track to make it happen. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if Dorna flexes its massive business influence and helps in that regard, but I wouldn’t want to put a lot of faith on Dorna being open to that idea. The track and the Indonesian government should be able to handle that.
If Sentul is out of the equation, there’s also the possibility of building a new race track in the country. But given the time table of 2017, it’s unlikely that would happen since there have already been a lot of talks of building a new track but nothing has come out of it.
The issue with corruption is a little trickier because it really is out of the control of Dorna. The best it can hope for is to trust the government that it would hold up its own end and ensure that any future MotoGP race in Indonesia can go on without any hitches on that end.