There is no small way to put forward the utter importance of the Indonesian two wheeler market in the eyes of the manufacturers throughout the globe. With millions to two wheelers, essentially, scooters Indonesia has since years been the centre of attention of the two wheeler industry. this also means that the manufacturers already present and those who are planning to arrive soon at the MotoGP paddock, all want a race at this all important country. And, at last after years of discussions and wait, Indonesia may finally get the MotoGP race it has long desired. The MotoGP bossman Carmelo Ezpeleta and Javier Alonso have recently met with senior Indonesian politicians and the management of the Sentul International Circuit, to talk about the possibility of staging a MotoGP race in the country from 2017 onwards.
However, as per reports, nothing concrete has come out of the discussions, but, it is being said that both parties are infact committed to work together in bringing MotoGP back to Indonesia since 1997. The importance of Indonesia for MotoGP can be easily understood from the fact that the Asian country is a major source of internet traffic for most racing-related websites, and supplies a large proportion of followers on social media to racers, teams, and journalists alike. Combine this craze for motorsports, the rapidly growing Indonesian economy and a fast-expanding middle class with expendable income, means Dorna is interested in the TV market and on selling merchandise, video content and mobile apps to Indonesia.
However, there are two fairly big problems that have always hampered any attempts to race in Indonesia, first being the availability of a track to race on is, the old the Sentul International circuit, where MotoGP last raced in 1997, is in a state of disrepair, and the track is in no way capable of hosting a round of MotoGP as the track stands. However, there have been rumors of new tracks being built, but they have been just that so far, rumours. During the meeting on Wednesday, Sentul director Tinton Soeprapto promised to work towards complying with all of the demands of the FIM, but also asked for their help.
The biggest issue, Indonesia faces, is something that most of the Asian countries suffer and that is grave level of corruption in the country. It is a wide spread fear among the teams that if they go to Indonesia then they would face problems at every possible step, like getting equipment in and out of the country, moving people in and out of the country, and even something as simple as getting into and out of the track. With such level of skeptism among the participants, Indonesia will have to put its best foot forward if it has to organise an motorsporting event like MotoGP in the country.
Thus this leaves only one way of organising a race in Indonesia and it is strong support from the highest levels of the Indonesian government., and on this front, the presence of Indonesia’s Minster of Tourism, Arief Yahya, was a very positive step. All this is hinting towards the future of MotoGP in Indonesia, however, it is still too early to believe that there will be an Indonesian round after all. However, Dorna has expressed the hope that Indonesia will be able to host a race from 2017, but still, a lot of work is left to be done to make it happen.