Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia says it’s ready for WSBK

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Paving of the main track of the 4.31-kilometre Mandalika Circuit has completed with a ceremony held on Sunday.  The completion of asphalting construction marked the Mandalika Circuit’s readiness to host the international FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK) from November 12-14, 2021.  COVID notwithstanding that is….

Building Rendering | © MPGA

Director of construction and development of the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA), Dwianto Eko Winaryo, revealed that the newest Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA), said to be the best in the world, was used for the Mandalika International Circuit, giving it an edge over even Malaysia’s Sepang Circuit.

Dwianto Eko Winaryo – MGPA

“Not all circuits in the world use this type of asphalt. Because the product was only released in 2015. Several circuits with SMA are Silverstone, Dubai, and Phillip Island. Not even Sepang (has used SMA) because it was built in 2012.”

SMA is an asphalt mixture that is used to coat the top surface of the asphalt, Winaryo explained. The asphalt layer is intended to strengthen the structure of the surface layer of the track so that it remains strong through stone-by-stone contact.

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To support the asphalting progress using SMA, the MGPA brought in coarse aggregate Tau stone from Palu, Central Sulawesi – famous for its hardness. But for the underlay asphalt, stone from North Lombok and East Lombok was used. Seven thousand tons of Palu stone were transported in two stages for the asphalting.

In addition, MGPA brought in cellulose fiber additives from Germany to glue the stone and asphalt. Meanwhile, the limestone filler was brought in from Ponorogo and Probolinggo, East Java.

Automotive expert Arief Kurniawan said once all its facilities are properly equipped, the Mandalika Circuit is likely to become the new favorite track for racing. He believes that the Mandalika Circuit would be able to beat even the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia and Chang Circuit in Thailand, which have already hosted MotoPG events.

Arief Kurniawan

“The circuit has a unique selling point, the location is in a special economic area, and the beach is also beautiful. Even though the access (to the) road is still difficult, but in the next four to five years the access will be easy, it takes a process. Surrounded by panoramic views of the hills and the sea on the southern coast of Lombok Island, the Mandalika International Street Circuit is set to later become the only roadway circuit in the MotoGP calendar,” he added. “The circuit’s paddock area can accommodate 40 garages, while the main tribune has a capacity of more than 50 thousand seats. While the standing tribune is designed to hold approximately 138 thousand people and hospitality suites are planned to accommodate 7,700 people. The paddock area, main tribune, standing tribune, and hospitality suites will not be permanent and can be dismantled when there is no racing, including the circuit track that can be converted into a highway.”

The Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia | ©MGPA

Director of PT Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Abdulbar M Mansoer, has also claimed the construction work of the main track in the Special Area Road (JKK) has been the fastest, ever.

“Work on this circuit began on June 15, 2020 and finished by August 15, 2021, or one year and one month, and this is the fastest in the world. We want to finish the construction quickly since we aim to host the 2021 MotoGP,” Mansoer explained.

Abdulbar M Mansoer – Director of PT ITDC

“The installation of concrete barriers and the construction of tunnels has been completed, which will serve as the audience’s access to the circuit area, the service area, the hotel, and other facilities in the track area. Overall, the construction work on the Mandalika International Street Circuit is around 92 percent complete, he said. Work is in progress on other supporting facilities, such as the race control and foundation pit building. Currently, we are preparing a medical center equipped with a helipad. The operation and procurement of medical equipment for medical facilities are supported by the Ministry of Health. Overall, the construction of the JKK has approached 92 percent.”

The circuit is expected to be completed by September 12, 2021, or before the FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK), an international motorcycle racing event, scheduled to be held from November 12-14, 2021.

The Circuit’s homologation virtual assessment was conducted on August 12 this year and attended by representatives from Dorna Sport, the Indonesian Motor Association (IMI) and ITDC’s subsidiary, MGPA.

“The assessment was the world’s first virtual assessment of the circuit track and was carried out in a professional manner,” Mansoer remarked. “We are very grateful that during the virtual assessment, Dorna Sport expressed their positive feedback and confidence in the construction progress of the Mandalika Circuit.”

He said he was optimistic that the Mandalika Circuit can end Indonesia’s 26-year wait for hosting international motorcycle racing.

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