Dorna CEO investigates possible Indonesian MotoGP venue
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has visited the Indonesian island of Lombok, near Bali, in what is said to have been in part a fact-finding mission for a future MotoGP race.
Ezpeleta and son Carlos, MotoGP’s Sporting Director, made the trip to Bali in the days between the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the end of October and last weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP.
According to a release from the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which was distributed to media by MotoGP itself, the visit was primarily a holiday with an inspection of Lombok included.
“Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta was primarily at the Nusa Dua for a well-deserved break at the Bali National Golf Club before heading out to Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang,” said ITDC CEO Abdulbar M. Mansoer, who accompanied Ezpeleta to Lombok.
“It was not his first time to the Island as he visited the Nusa Dua around two years prior beforehand.
“For this visit, during his busy schedule and on route between the two races, he wanted to visit Bali as well as Lombok, where we welcomed him to the Mandalika (resort) and presented a potential concept to host future Motorbike Race Events.
“His visit was brief, but we believe that he sincerely enjoyed his break and of course we would be very happy to welcome him back to Bali and Lombok in the near future.”
According to ITDC, the concept would have a MotoGP round take place within the ‘integrated tourism estate’ of Mandalika which is managed by the corporation.
The release is consistent with Ezpeleta’s comments in January regarding a street race in a “hot part of the world,” specifically Asia.
“This is an idea we start to talk about, (and it) is a place in Asia,” he disclosed to MotoGP.com at the Yamaha factory team’s season launch.
“We are talking with the government and the possibility is there.”
Furthermore, the ‘paddock’ would be located indoors, perhaps akin to the set-up which Supercars used at Sydney Olympic Park.
Mandalika is currently under development by ITDC, and Ezpeleta put his Asian street race concept “at least two years away” when he spoke in January.
Notably, however, the MotoGP itself has captioned the above image, “The surroundings of the area where the new racing venue is expected to be situated,” in its press release.
There are currently three races in southeast Asia with Thailand added to Japan and Malaysia this year, while Phillip Island makes for four races in the late-season flyaway sequence.
Sentul International Circuit, near the nation’s capital of Jakarta, hosted the only two Indonesian Grands Prix to date in 1996 and 1997.
The 2018 season concludes in Valencia on November 16-18.