Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

MotoGP hits the streets of Jakarta, with Indonesian President Jokowi in attendance, ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix at Mandalika.
Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

Ahead of the first Indonesian MotoGP event since 1997, a special parade waved off by the country's President Jokowi took place on the streets of the capital Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon.

20 riders from the MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and Asia Talent Cup classes, plus Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Ezpeleta, were in attendance for the 4km ride.

"It's been an incredible event, with all the riders helping us a lot with this promotion," said Carmelo Ezpeleta. "Indonesia is one of the biggest countries in the world for MotoGP.

"We're very proud to be received in the palace by the President, it's something amazing and we appreciate it so much. We're so happy to do that, the effort made by the race organisers to make this parade happen with all the riders has been something really impressive.

"We knew from many years ago when we were here that MotoGP in Indonesia is very popular. We think it will be a very nice event and something really important for the sport.

"We hope it will be the first of many; we have a long term agreement to race in Indonesia. It's a new organisation and a new circuit but everyone has worked together to make it a success."

Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

All the President's men.

The President set the parade in motion by waving a chequered flag, with local riders from Honda, Suzuki, Ducati and Yamaha fan clubs also joining the train of bikes making their way through central Jakarta from Merdeka Palace to the Kempinski Hotel.

Once at their destination, the riders parked their machinery, greeted the fans and threw a few knee sliders, before heading to this weekend's inaugural MotoGP at the new Mandalika circuit, located two hours flying time from Jakarta on the island of Lombok (next to Bali).

"Many years ago we came here to Indonesia for Honda events, and from my first [visit] I've felt like people follow MotoGP a lot and it's something amazing," said eight time world champion Marc Marquez.

"They deserve a a GP and they'll have a GP! We'll race this weekend for the first time for a long time in Indonesia, it will be a big event for the country and for MotoGP."

Repsol Honda won the last Indonesian Grand Prix, held at Sentul in 1997, courtesy of Tadayuki Okada. Could Marquez, fifth in the Qatar season-opener, make it a Repsol repeat?

"Qatar was a good start. You always want more, to be on the podium and try to win, but Qatar is a circuit where we struggle, it wasn't a bad start. But here and in the next races, we will see and understand more our situation," he said.

"We need to start to understand better, to show our speed if we can, but I feel better and better and that's the most important thing."

Here are further pictures from the event:

Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

Indonesian President attends MotoGP parade in Jakarta

Read More