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MotoGP closing in on Indonesian race deal

Indonesia is closing in on a return to the MotoGP calendar after further talks were held regarding the country’s inclusion in the motorcycling series from the 2017 season.

Indonesia hosted MotoGP rounds during the 1996 and 1997 seasons at the Sentul International Circuit in the city of Bogor. Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of MotoGP’s commercial rights-holder Dorna Sports, staged meetings ahead of the weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix with Imam Nahrawi, the Indonesian Minister of Youth & Sports and Tinton Soeprapto, chief executive of the Sentul International Circuit.

MotoGP is said to be targeting a five-year deal with Indonesian authorities from 2017 to 2021. In a statement, the series said a project masterplan will be presented in late November ahead of the signing of a formal contract between Dorna Sports and Sentul circuit officials. The statement added: “The next steps towards the organisation of an Indonesian GP at the Sentul International Circuit include renovation works, the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) homologation process and finally the official inclusion in the 2017 calendar.”

Malaysia currently hosts MotoGP’s only race in Southeast Asia. The MotoGP statement added: “Indonesia is a key emerging market for MotoGP, as proved by the legions of fans making the trip to the Malaysian GP this weekend, but also from a commercial point of view for the likes of the manufacturers, whose factory efforts display references to campaigns specific to this region.”