The Mandalika Circuit in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, which is expected to be completed by 2022, has the potential to become a new favorite in the international racing world, an expert has said. “Once it is finished, this circuit will be gorgeous, and the track is flowing. This fast circuit will be the new favorite in the international racing world,” motorsport aficionado Arief Kurniawan told ANTARA last Thursday (July 22, 2021).
Mandalika’s developer, the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), is targeting completion of the 4.3-km circuit with 17 corners to meet the specifications and pass the homologation test of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM).
The Mandalika Grand Prix Association, the circuit’s promoter and operator, noted that as of mid-July this year, construction work on the circuit was 81.42 percent complete. Meanwhile, work on the run-off gravel, run-off grass, north tunnel and retaining wall, outer and inner service road, and concrete barrier installation was more than 95 percent complete.
Speaking on the construction progress, Kurniawan observed the circuit has not been able to meet FIM’s requirements since the paddock has not been built. “But even without the homologation qualification, Mandalika Circuit has been chosen by World Superbike (WSBK) to host the championship on November 14 this year, while the plan to host MotoGP had to be postponed until March next year.”
Work on the circuit’s asphalt and track lane is expected to be finished by the end of July 2021, before FIM’s representatives inspect it for homologation, at least three months before the event, to determine the circuit’s eligibility as a venue for the world racing championship, he said.
To meet FIM’s requirements, the asphalt, run-off, pitstop, paddock building, health facility and helipad need to be completed and a hospital provided in the surrounding area. Once completed, Mandalika Circuit will be comparable to circuits such as Sepang, Malaysia and Chang, Thailand, already well-known as MotoGP venues, Kurniawan said.
“Because Mandalika Circuit has a unique selling point: It is in the Special Economic Zone (KEK Mandalika), surrounded by beautiful beaches and the Indian Ocean. We will also add polish to make the circuit more accessible in the next four years,” he remarked.
Forty garages have been made available within the circuit’s paddock area and the main tribune has been prepared to accommodate 50 thousand seats, while the standing tribune will hold 138 thousand people, Kurniawan informed. The circuit will also house hospitality suites for 7,700 people.
The paddock, main tribune, standing tribune and hospitality suites can be dismantled, and the circuit track can function as a normal roadway when there is no racing schedule, explained Kurniawan. Surrounded by panoramic hills and the beaches of South Lombok Island, the Mandalika Circuit would be the only street circuit made part of the MotoGP agenda.