Mandalika, Indonesia

Carmelo Ezpeleta Interview: On Vaccination, Satellite Teams, The UN Report On Mandalika, And Saudi Arabia

The world of sports, along with the rest of the world are still suffering through the Covid-19 pandemic. As things stand now, it looks like the (now misnamed) 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will take place this summer without international spectators. As for the athletes and teams, being vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be compulsory.

Nor is it in MotoGP, where most of the paddock got vaccinated in the period between the winter test and the first two rounds of the 2021 season thanks to the Qatari Government.

The F1 paddock was offered the same option by Bahrain, but Stefano Domenicali, the President & CEO of Formula 1, turned down the offer saying they don’t want to jump in the queue. “But we need to be prudent and see and respect, of course, what is the situation with all the vulnerable people. We don’t want to be seen as the ones that are taking away that, for sure,” he told the website. Some teams and individuals accepted the possibility anyway.

In MotoGP Carmelo Ezpeleta and Dorna welcomed the offer when it was first presented, also believing that it can help to make a full season possible, complete with oversea races.

"When we decided to move the test from Malaysia and Jerez to Qatar, it gave us the opportunity to stay for a long time in Qatar," the Dorna CEO said. "Then the Qatari Government offered us this opportunity. Obviously, we said we would be extremely happy to do it. It is something that has helped a lot for the championship. It is very important for us and we will remember to this always. The vaccination is helping a lot for the Asian races and the GPs there, but also for the European ones."


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Dorna Approves Progress Of Mandalika Circuit In Indonesia - First Contours Of 2022 Calendar Appear

Today, Dorna issued a press release praising the progress being made in the construction of the Mandalika International Street Circuit, the new circuit being built inside the Mandalika tourist resort on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Race Direction representative Loris Capirossi, and Dorna Managing Director Carlos Ezpeleta, son of CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, visited the Mandalika site to assess progress and the safety of the site.

During their meeting, the Dorna and FIM staff agreed a tentative schedule for events with representatives from the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA). The plans for a World Superbike round in November were reaffirmed, subject to international travel being possible despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The parties also agreed to hold the inaugural MotoGP round at the circuit there in March 2022, with the option of a MotoGP test at the circuit during the Asian flyaways in October, should those races happen.

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2021 WorldSBK Provisional Calendar - European Start To Season, Overseas Finish, Indonesia Provisionally Added

The FIM today published the preliminary and provisional calendar for the WorldSBK championship for the 2021 season. Like all aspects of international events, it is very much a provisional affair, subject to local and regional restrictions on movement and events in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The biggest change to the season is the rescheduling of the Philip Island round of WorldSBK. Instead of being the opening race of the season, it is now due to take place in the second half of November, with a date still to confirmed. Travel to Australia is still nigh on impossible, but the hope is that restrictions will look very different by the end of 2021, as vaccines start to be rolled out.

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Realizing The Dream of Bringing MotoGP Back to Indonesia

Logo Mandalika International Street Circuit

It has been 22 years since the last time Indonesia held a motorcycle racing Grand Prix. The dream of watching riders in action burst again in 2015. Unfortunately, the meeting between Dorna Sports SL, the Government of Indonesia and Sentul Circuit ended in failure.

A year later, Alex Noerdin – at that time was South Sumatra Governor – visited Sepang during the Malaysian MotoGP to meet with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. The two sides discussed about using the Jakabaring in Palembang, on South Sumatra, as the location of the race. However, that failed too.

Now, the country’s dream to host the prestigious racing event seems closer to reality. The Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is currently building new circuit – it has apparently been in preparation since 2017 – in the Mandalika special economic zone, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

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