Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP MotoGP's 'Largest Circuit Project', Mandalika, Almost Complete

MotoGP’s ‘Largest Circuit Project’, Mandalika, Almost Complete

By mid-2021, Geobrugg, a Swiss-based manufacturer, says construction should be complete on Indonesia’s Mandalika International Street Circuit. According to Geobrugg, this is MotoGP’s “biggest ever circuit project.”

The track, located on the island of Lombok, is listed as a reserve on the MotoGP calendar. If the track’s construction is completed in time, Mandalika can possibly show up later on the 2021 MotoGP calendar, says Mark Hughes, interim COO of the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). The ITDC is developing the track and the area around it as a tourist destination with numerous luxury hotels and leisure facilities.

The track aims to host 150,000 fans on race day. To put this into perspective, Silverstone also has a capacity of 150,000 fans, Catalunya 140,700 fans, Sepang 130,000, and Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, 120,000.

Mandalika will be 2.68 miles long and feature 17 corners.

MotoGP track Mandalika construction

Geobrugg reports that they had shipped 1,550 mobile debris fence panels for placement around the circuit, and 31 molds to create the concrete blocks that are essential for each turn.

The goal is to develop a circuit that meets both FIM Class A and FIA Grade 1 level, according to Hughes. This is one of the key reasons for using F1-level circuit suppliers such as Geobrugg, as the venue owners have no limit to the circuit’s ambitions.

“MotoGP is our priority at the moment but we have our eye on the long term,” says Hughes. “We will have car racing at some point and it makes sense to use an FIA-endorsed product like the Geobrugg fences so that we are ready for the pinnacle of car racing if required. I’ve used Geobrugg before on other circuit projects and I think it is a fantastic product. It’s an incredibly fast track. We spoke with a number of riders when we were going through the different design iterations and everybody identified it as being one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.”

To speed up efforts to meet the mid-2021 completion target, the production of Geobrugg concrete barriers will be done on-site.

Geobrugg’s Director of Motorsport Solutions Jochen Braunwarth says, “We will be providing the training of barrier production, pit wall production, panel assembly, and installation of all barrier types. This will accelerate the process of installing all of the important safety elements around the track itself.”

Indonesia MotoGP Circuits

As well as being a racetrack, it will double as a public road to access the tourist facilities on site. This presented a unique challenge due to the safety requirements by the FIM for the runoff areas. They will be a lot larger than traditional circuits, so the barriers will be further away from the track.

“That was our single biggest challenge because that’s a lot of space either side of the road,” explained Hughes. “Understandably, no one wants the riders hitting anything. The goal is for them to be able to go through the gravel and naturally come to a halt before they get to a barrier.”

With 27 percent of the global MotoGP fanbase coming from Indonesia, Hughes believes that they will have no issues with filling the 150,000-spectator capacity (as long as spectators are allowed back by then), making it by far the biggest event on the calendar.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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