The Jakarta Post
Indonesia is looking to bring back the MotoGP race to Sentul in 2017, two decades after it last held the event in 1997.
The Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) expressed its support for the plan to bring back the world's most prestigious motorbike race to the the Sentul International Circuit in West Java where it was hosted in 1996 and 1997.
'We are supporting the plan because it will also connect [a number of] ministries and the Presidential Palace,' Wantimpres member Suharso Monoarfa said on Thursday following a meeting with Sentul's management director Tinton Soeprapto and an Indonesian Professional Sports Body (BOPI) representative.
Representing the government, Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi has recently signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) and is expected to send it soon to Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holder of MotoGP.
According to Suharso, the Wantimpres would not play an executive role in realizing the plan, but would only provide ideas and guidance to ensure the plan was carried out in line with existing regulations.
Suharso said that hosting the race would promote the country to the world, particularly in terms of tourism.
'We see the benefits for the country from becoming the host, particularly for its economy and social environment,' Suharso said.
The senior politician at the United Development Party (PPP) also expressed hopes that it could also lead to the possibility of Indonesia hosting the Formula One. Tinton pointed out the need to renovate the circuit in order to attain the top-grade status required to host the event. 'The plan is to turn it into a 4.4 kilometer-long circuit with 15-meter width and 14 curves,' Tinton added. Currently, Sentul track is 4.12-kilometers long.
Some have predicted that a budget of around Rp 300 billion would be needed for the project, excluding the Dorna Sports cooperation fee.
The Federation of International Motorcycling (FIM) will discuss the 2017 race agenda, including the MotoGP races, during a meeting set to be held in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 21.
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