Confirmed: Indonesia returns to WSBK calendar
21 February 2012
Indonesia's Sentul circuit will return to the World Superbike calendar in 2013 as part of a five-year deal agreed to bring the series back to Asia for the first time since the 1990s.
Infront Motor Sports, rights holders for World Superbikes, confirmed the news on Tuesday, with Sentul hosting a round of the championship for the first time in 15 years next season.
Maurizio Flammini, president of Infront Motor Sports, said: “We are proud of the growth of the Superbike calendar which, thanks to the inclusion of the latest rounds, is obtaining a presence in countries of major importance for the development of our championship on a sporting and commercial level.
“After Russia, where Superbike has now arrived before any other world motorsport championship, thanks to more than two years of intense work in the Asian area we have now been able to insert Indonesia, which has in the past already played host to a race of considerable success and appeal in the calendar.
“Indonesia today is a country with the largest growth factors: GDP is more than one trillion dollars, with a 2011 growth of more than 6%, and the sale of bikes widely exceeds 7 million units per year. The Superbike race will therefore be a great opportunity for the motorcycle manufacturers present in our championship.
“We are also negotiating with the Buddh International Circuit in India, where the Formula 1 race was recently held, in order to complete a presence in Asia that in this case will be absolutely extraordinary”.
Prior to the official confirmation, Tinton Soeprapto, director of PT Sarana Sirkuitindo Utama - which manages the Sentul International Circuit – said agreement was also announced to host a round of the Superstars Car Racing Championship, also organised by the Flammini brothers/FG Sport, from 2012-2014.
“The contract value of one Superstars series [event] is around 3 million to 4 million euro/year or 35,65 billion rupiahs to 47,53 billion rupiahs/year. The Superbike contract is also around that value,” Tinton told Kompas.com, adding that the money was coming from private sponsors and not the government.”
Sentul aims to use the WSBK and Superstars events as a springboard to hosting future grand prix rounds. The circuit is currently being re-surfaced to reach 'international standard'.
“Having international bike and car championships in Indonesia will lift the name of Indonesia worldwide. Also, if Indonesia holds those events successfully, it will be easier to hold F1 and MotoGP in this country,” added Tinton.
The date for the Indonesian Superbike round will be decided shortly. Possible dates under consideration are at the start of the championship together with Australia, or the final round of the season.
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, added: “The arrival of the Indonesian round in the Superbike World Championship calendar confirms the growing interest in our series and undoubtedly helps to complete a championship that touches all the world's motorcycle markets and which continues to offer increasingly significant opportunities for the motorcycle industry, sponsors and media”.
Sentul last hosted a WSBK event from 1994 to 1997. Rounds in Malaysia and Japan also featured on the WSBK calendar during the 1990s.
However, an Asian event has been absent from the schedule ever since the 2003 round in Sugo, Japan - the Japanese manufacturers having subsequently withdrawn 'official' support for the series over the 2004 technical rules.
Sentul had been provisionally named on the 2008 WSBK calendar, but didn't make the final cut, while rumours of a deal with Sepang in Malaysia have run off-and-on in recent years.