Indonesian Round Of MotoGP Draws Closer: 2021 Target Date For First Race

The chances of Indonesia finally hosting a round of MotoGP have grown over the past few days. On Wednesday, CNN Indonesia reported that a deal has been agreed with Dorna to host MotoGP in the country for three years, starting in 2021. has learned that an announcement of the deal could come within the next few days. 

Abdulbar M. Mansoer, Managing Director of Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), told CNN Indonesia that they have signed a deal with Dorna to host MotoGP. The deal will see races held on a circuit based on the streets around a private tourist resort of Mandalika Beach, part of the Mandalika Resort Area currently being developed by the ITDC on the island of Lombok. 

The deal has been on the cards for some time, and received a boost last year when Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta visited Bali and met with senior figures in the ITDC before the Sepang round of MotoGP. Initially, it had been hoped that a circuit would be ready for 2020, but the earthquake which devastated the north of Lombok last year put the project back. The objective is now to host a race in 2021.

The circuit is to be a 'street circuit', though this is something of a misnomer. The race will be held on the streets of the resort, which will be laid out with the safety of MotoGP in mind. 

Holding a race in Indonesia has long been a goal for both Dorna and the manufacturers active in MotoGP, as the country is a massive market for both parties. Indonesia is arguably the most MotoGP-mad country in the world, and also one of the largest markets of scooters and small capacity motorcycles. A growing middle class are also starting to purchase larger capacity motorcycles, Indonesia also being very fast growing markets for Ducati and Triumph. 

The problem facing anyone wanting to organize a race in Indonesia has always been endemic corruption and political legal difficulties, including dealing with customs. As Mandalika is in a special economic zone, and just 17km from Lombok International Airport. Holding the race, and housing the paddock staff, inside a private resort which is itself a special economic zone with special customs arrangements, should address many of these problems.

One possible objection to the location on Lombok is the relative lack of accommodation in the direct area. But the ITDC expects there to be 1200 hotel rooms inside the resort by 2021, and 5,500 five-star hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity. There is also plenty of other accommodation at the other resorts spread around the island, which is a couple of hours from Mandalika.

The arrival of Indonesia, along with the addition of Finland in 2020, would exceed the maximum of 20 races specified in the contract between the teams and Dorna. As a result, a race would have to be dropped. That will almost certainly be one of the Spanish rounds, with either Valencia or Barcelona the most likely candidates, as those two races have the most problems consistently raising the necessary budget. However, the idea of removing Valencia as the final race would not be popular with Dorna, as it is so close to the company's home base in Barcelona.

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Hi David,

I'm curious about your opinion on the following. I've just read that the Circuit of the Americas will end up losing assistance money once again from the state of Texas. They failed to file a human trafficking report required for receiving state funds. Do you think that will somehow affect MotoGP in the future? 

This article answers my Q regarding the possibility of 21st motogp round that I wrote on the comment section of your other article here (it appears still being reviewed :D).  Any information on when barcelonas cotract end? Again thank you, Liys-Lombok.

The press from the tourist agency say 100,000 people per day will watch!, Spread around the island is one thing getting in there will be another, and actually getting that number of people entirely by air (well some locals will come by ferry) will be really tough. Population of the city is only 400,000 in total, so their figures are optimistic, as ever. Achieving what Buriram and Sepang will never happen. I think it might be a bit of a struggle to achieve that plus it is a more than 2 hour flight from Jakarta. Its is really not for the fans, its for the money.

I used to live in Jakarta, and went to the races, Motogp and World SBK, the crowd was OK but not huge, if they want it for the fans, Jakarta or Surabaya would be the place to have it. I went to the first race at Sepang and the crowd for that was only about 35,000 back then. You could even book at the Pan Pacific in them days!

I dont go anymore as the effort of getting there and getting in and out three days running combined with the heat, means its a far bigger effort than it used to be, plus seeing Marco pass away right in front of us makes it hard to want to go back again. However, Buriram is on the agenda as its only 50k from the mother in laws place!

Ill be quite surprised if this actually takes off, its more like a Welsh circuit effort, though undoubtedly the money is there for this one in Indonesia.

Cant wait for the season to start again!!

Having been to quite a few first races at new circuits, like Sentul( I was actually on the riders inspection visit of the circuit way back then), Sepang, Johor, Phakisa etc I will be surprised if the attendance figures make the forecast for a couple of years. The forecast is one months worth of regular arrivals for a motogp weekend based on the airport arrival figures for the race weekend, that is very difficult to achieve and logistically for both the airport and the available rooms, it will be quite a stretch. Good look and I hope it works as Indonesia deserves the race. I have many Indonesian friends who have to travel to Sepang for the races to get their fix or motogp, having a home race is great news. Salam kepada semua fans Motogp di Indonesia!!!

"the idea of removing Valencia as the final race would not be popular with Dorna, as it is so close to the company's home base in Barcelona" 

I'm not big on geography but if deciding on a distance basis, surely Barcelona is closer to Barcelona than Valencia?  :P


Sure go ahead and drop one of the Spanish rounds. Cut Jerez or Valencia, preferably Valencia.

Catalunya is a great track with lots of history, they have done plenty of work to improve safety since Luis Salon died.

Aragon is good. Personally I like Jerez, planning to visit this year.

Drop Valencia it's too tight for MotoGp anyway. Yes they have had some fabulous races. The last two MotoGp races where full of excitement.

Love to see a world class circuit in Indonesia, not very confident that a Mandalika/Lombok street circuit will deliver great, safe racing. Good luck to them.

Looks like things are progressing with the Mandalika circuit. Ground work, a couple of large overpasses etc. Last time I saw an update.

Dorna seems confident that the motorcycle racing caravan will get there sometime. Although the racetrack still isn't homologated. I guess that means it isn't completed yet.

Superbikes the first to try out this new facility. The second weekend of November is a long way off but the clock is ticking.