Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli, Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Raul Fernandez, Joan Mir, and other racers are ready to compete at the Mandalika International Circuit on March 20, 2022. They have taken the MotoGP pre-season tests in Sepang, Malaysia and Mandalika last February, and these 24 riders will be bringing their best performance when competing in the 2022 MotoGP race.
As the host of this event, Indonesia has also prepared various facilities for the success of the MotoGP event. They started by adding accommodation to organizing facilities and infrastructure for tourist places in collaboration with the local Lombok community. After World Superbike (WSBK) in November 2021, this MotoGP event will be the pinnacle of sporting events in the automotive sector.
This event is expected to boost the Indonesian economy again. After two years of struggling with COVID-19, MotoGP 2022 is hope for all Indonesian people, especially the people of Lombok.
Lombok, Indonesia | A Prime Location
Lombok is famous as a natural tourist destination for many reasons; with its beautiful scenery and pure environment, plus the close relations to the local culture. Not only does Bali have gorgeous beaches, Lombok also has many beautiful beaches that are less crowded and with distinctive white sand.
Coined the “New Bali”, Lombok is also famous for amazing waves at Tanjung Aan Beach and Gerupuk Beach, a popular spot for beginner and advanced surfers. Lombok also has Mount Rinjani, Merese Hill, Segara Anak Lake, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and many other natural attractions that can be explored.
Mandalika is one of four leading destinations, that also include Labuan Bajo, Likupang, and Lake Toba. Even though Mandalika is 50 km from the city center, a 1-hour drive from Mataram city, and 30 minutes from Lombok International Airport, the area has great access, qualified supporting facilities, and has advantages as a tourist destination.
Due to its large land area, the Mandalika Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was chosen as a strategic location for constructing the MotoGP International Circuit. This 3.4km long circuit has 17 corners and a spectator capacity of 195,000. It was built following international standards in collaboration with a French state-owned company, Vinci Construction, with a fund of IDR 14.5 trillion.
The funds put forward by the government were a serious investment into the event with up to IDR 576.8 billion for the entire setup of the Mandalika Area. The budget was used for several key aspects, including the construction of Phase II of the Lombok International Airport–Mandalika Bypass Road, the widening of the Kuta–Keruak Road, reforestation and road corridor arrangement, the construction of 10,000 rooms of 4 and 5-star hotels, and 1,584 housing units (villas, townhouses, and condominiums).
The event has created 11,000 jobs during the pre-season test. It is predicted to increase the local economy and tourism by up to IDR 500 billion and job opportunities by 50,000 in certain sectors.
The tourism, hotel, and transportation sectors are also benefited by this prestigious event. Hotels located around Mandalika and Lombok have been fully booked, 90 – 100% of workers have been re-employed in anticipation of a surge in incoming tourists.
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (UMKM) in West Nusa Tenggara are also ready to welcome local and foreign tourists during the MotoGP event. They have also been given coaching and mentoring to sell safely, offline or online, on 23rd February 2022 together with the Regional National Crafts Council (Dekranasda). They will be provided with bazaar facilities at the Mandalika Circuit for ten districts with as many as 303 outlets.
The transportation sector of the West Nusa Tenggara Transportation Agency has allocated the Lembar Harbor for tourists who will come from Bali, and the Lombok City Tour Bus will operate during the MotoGP event. This city tour bus collaborates with PT Damri and Aspindo, so tourists will feel comfortable and safe while traveling around the Lombok area.
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Ahead of the MotoGP, the government issued technical regulations that the West Nusa Tenggara Regional Government had to carry out. According to the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs (Inmendagri), Number 8 of 2022 published on February 5 2022, aims to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This regulation has several provisions, such as limiting the number of spectators to a maximum of 100,000 people, a 10% maximum capacity is allocated to the festival, all spectators, racers, crew, and officials must have a second dose of the vaccine, a PCR test is mandatory before entering Lombok, and negative PCR results 2×24 hours.
Rising COVID-19 rates affected the continuity of this event which limited the audience to only 60,000. This consequently caused a significant decrease in ticket sales and emergency funds to be prepared for handling COVID-19 during the MotoGP. Ticket sales only reached 2,000 in Makassar.
This made The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economic (Kemenparekraf) continue to encourage ticket sales by asking the local government for help in making the MotoGP event a success. The government hopes that ticket sales will continue to increase with enthusiasm, even though COVID-19 cases are rising in Indonesia.
Vaccinations continue to be carried out by the government throughout the West Nusa Tenggara region. To anticipate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the government implemented a bubble scheme. The scheme involves dividing people into groups and limiting interactions between groups to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
Indonesia in The Eyes of ASEAN
Indonesia will repeat history that was made in 1997. After being absent for 25 years from the MotoGP, Indonesia’s dream has finally come true as they get to participate in this prestigious automotive event. Previously, Indonesia held two MotoGP events at the Sentul Circuit, Bogor, namely the Marlboro Indonesia Grand Prix 500 in 1996 and 1997.
Indonesia is now joining again with the MotoGP and that makes the ASEAN automotive sports market stronger than ever before. This season, the MotoGP will also be held in neighboring countries Malaysia and Thailand. With these three ASEAN countries, an opportunity for MotoGP to seize the Southeast Asian market is getting bigger.
The Southeast Asian region has a closer relationship with motorcycle racing; therefore, MotoGP racing is more popular in Southeast Asia than Formula 1 (F1.) Motorcycle sales in Indonesia are also higher than in other Southeast Asian countries, making MotoGP Indonesia a driving force for the Southeast Asian region. The CEO of Dorna Sports is also enthusiastic that Indonesia can break their marketability in Southeast Asia and beat other racing events, especially Formula 1 (F1).
This MotoGP season will be different from the previous season as Indonesia will be the second series after the Qatar MotoGP, and will have 21 series like the Finnish MotoGP.
MotoGP Indonesia will determine the increase in the ASEAN market. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Indonesian government will not give up and continue to support the MotoGP event, which will be held March 18-20, 2022. All facilities and infrastructure are seeing higher standards of quality and are kept clean to reduce the spread of the virus. This event will also help boost the economy in the tourism sector, not only in Lombok, but for all tourist attractions in Indonesia.