Indonesia could return to MotoGP schedule in 2017
Indonesia’s dream to again host a MotoGP racing event is now closer to reality after a meeting with CEO Dorna Sports SL., Carmelo Ezpeleta and Managing Director of Events Area, Javier Alonso on Wednesday.
"For us, it’s a big pleasure to be here. Indonesia has been included in our plans for a long time. This is a great country with high growth in motorcycle sales sector. It’s an important country for us," said Ezpeleta during the press conference.
"The reason why we are here because the Indonesian Government were interested to host the MotoGP race. We then explained what the necessary infrastructure requirements must to be met, including homologated circuit," he continued.
Ezpeleta also indicated that Indonesia could be granted a place on the MotoGP calendar from 2017 to 2021. "The goal is achievable for the country to host MotoGP. But, Indonesia will have the race if they fulfill all the requirements," he explained.
Ezpeleta said that he had received complete information from the Indonesian government on the event, and that his side had approved the country’s proposal and asked it to prepare the circuit.
"The Sentul Circuit needs much improvement. We have seen many circuits that host and do a lot of changes. Is it possible for Indonesia to improve or build (a) new circuit? We hope the government could follow-up on this immediately. The sure thing is we will provide the necessary support to make the event a success,” Ezpeleta added.
According to the Minister of Tourism of Indonesia, Arief Yahya, both parties had expressed interest in organizing a 2017 MotoGP race in the country, and that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would follow in the next three months.
“There is no contract signing today. But the sure thing is both parties are interested in holding MotoGP in Indonesia. Let’s hope that the National Awakening Day could become a milestone for Indonesia to host the MotoGP,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Sentul International Circuit, Tinton Soeprapto, was enthusiastic about Indonesia’s plan to host a MotoGP race in 2017. He promised that his side would undertake all of the tasks and responsibilities outlined by the program of the Federation International Motorcycle (FIM).
"Let’s all build this plan together. Without your help, it’s impossible to be happen," he concluded.
The last Indonesian Grand Prix took place at the Sentul Circuit in 1997 when Valentino Rossi took the victory in the 125cc class, with Tadayuki Okada winning the 500cc race.