The new heaven for the world’s speed devils.
photos by MANDALIKA GRAND PRIX ASSOCIATION
2021 marks the new yardstick for Indonesia’s role in international events. The establishment of the Mandalika International Street Circuit brings the attention of international and local communities alike to one of the latest of Indonesia’s hotspots for sustainable and local friendly tourism. Located within the Mandalika Special Economic Area (Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus) just 17.5km away from Lombok International Airport, the Mandalika International Street Circuit is expected to not only bring prosperity to the local economy, but also act as a breath of fresh air to the nation after the effects of the global pandemic have almost brought the world to a standstill. The Mandalika International Street Circuit, up until this article was written, has obtained a special reserve date for MotoGP’s Provisional Calendar 2021. As for the equally prestigious WorldSBK, Mandalika is scheduled to host the 11th round just after San Juan in Argentina and before Australia’s Phillip Island.
The Mandalika International Street Circuit is -as the name states- a street circuit which still functions as a public road outside of any racing calendar. It has been built with 17 turns on a relatively flat elevation totaling 4.31km of flowing, high-speed tarmac. The 150m run off area is designed to be the longest in the world and the safety measures have taken in consideration of past events on other tracks. In addition, there are two tunnels whose topside is used for access to the inner part of the circuit where charming and quirky hotels and other accommodation are set to be built. On the eastern part of the circuit, pink hills will be visible from the race track’s Straightaway, reminding the racers that they should anticipate a sharp 100O right turn. Next, a pair of slow turns greet the riders before connecting to the chicane which leads to another sharp right turn. Nearing the finish line, a hairpin preceded by a sweeper curve awaits for maximum overtaking action.
Racers in both competitions have already expressed their anticipation for the new arena. Marc Márquez, for instance, claimed that riders need only to brake three times throughout the lap due to the high speed nature of the circuit. But, there’s nobody else who’s more excited to welcome the D-day than the people of Lombok themselves. A series of local festivals and activities have already been designed in line with race days such as the Bau Nyale Festival on the Mandalika coast as well as countless other events on a smaller scale. Unlike the famous neighboring island of Bali whose charms are known around the world, Lombok remains slightly obscured from the eyes of international tourists. In the spirit of friendly rivalry, that’s going to change soon.