Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit in Central Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, which is currently hosting the Grand Prix of Indonesia for the first time, has passed the circuit homologation test with grade A.
“According to the track inspection held by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Dorna Sports, and International Road-Racing Team Association (IRTA) on March 17, 2022, the circuit has successfully passed grade A homologation," President Director of state-run Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) Abdulbar M. Mansoer said in a statement received here on Saturday.
Since grade A is the highest circuit grade, it means that Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit is cleared for hosting a MotoGP racing event, he explained.
The participants of the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia have also found the 4.3-kilometer circuit to be safer compared to during the pre-season test from February 11–13, 2022.
During the pre-season test, racers had complained of the dirty, dusty, and peeling asphalt, saying they had to deal with bits of loosened asphalt sprayed from the tires of racers in front.
As it was a new circuit, which had only held the World Superbike (WSBK) event on November 19–21, 2021, before the implementation of the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia from March 18–20, 2022, the track lacked a racing line.
The narrow racing line left MotoGP participants unable to ride their motorbikes optimally.
Hence, considering the results of the pre-season test, Dorna Sports and FIM asked ITDC’s subsidiary Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA), as the circuit manager, to maintain the cleanliness of the track surface as well as re-pave about 17.5 percent of the total track length.
Following the re-pavement, racers reported an improvement in the track during a free practice session on March 18, 2022.
"It feels different. During the pre-season test, bits of asphalt stones were thrown. However, at this practice session, the debris is smaller. Thus, it is better," Yamaha Factory Racing’s rider Fabio Quartararo remarked.
He also said that the racing line at the practice session is much better since before the MotoGP bikes used the circuit for practicing, the track had been used by Asian Talent Cup, Moto3, and Moto2 bikes.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s racer Joan Mir also said that the track is safe enough to be used after he completed the second practice session.
"The track is safe. I could still feel small stones thrown when I was behind the other riders. However, it is normal," he added.
Earlier, the circuit had received a grade B in the circuit homologation test amid the implementation of the 2021 WSBK.