MotoGP eyeing return of world championship event in Indonesia

MotoGP intends to add an Indonesian round to its calendar from the 2017 season

MotoGP eyeing return of world championship event in Indonesia

Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta and the series' events manager Javier Alonso visited the country this week to discuss plans for a race, which could take place at a revamped Sentul circuit.

"Indonesia has been included in our plans for a long time," said Ezpeleta.

"This is a great country with high growth in the motorcycle sales sector. It's an important country for us.

"The reason why we are here is because the Indonesian government were interested to host a MotoGP race.

"We then explained the necessary infrastructure requirements that must be met, including a homologated circuit."

Sentul hosted the world championship in 1996 and '97, when Mick Doohan and Tadayuki Okada won the 500cc races.

Ezpeleta said the track would need upgrading in order to rejoin the schedule, and was open-minded as to whether a new venue should be built instead.

A 2017-21 calendar slot is on the table for Indonesia if a deal can be completed.

"The goal is achievable for the country to host MotoGP," said Ezpeleta.

"Indonesia will have the race if they fulfil all the requirements.

"The Sentul circuit needs much improvement. We have seen many circuits that do a lot of changes.

"Is it possible for Indonesia to improve [Sentul] or build a new circuit? We hope the government could follow up on this immediately.

"The sure thing is we will provide the necessary support to make the event a success."

Indonesia's tourism minister Arief Yahya said talks were not yet at a contract stage but the desire to get MotoGP to the country was strong.

"There is no contract signing today. But the sure thing is both parties are interested in holding MotoGP in Indonesia," he said.

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