Omicron won’t bring out the red flag for MotoGP in Mandalika: minister

Spanish MotoGP racer Pol Espargaro. Photo: Instagram/@motogp
Spanish MotoGP racer Pol Espargaro. Photo: Instagram/@motogp

“The show must go on,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said about the scheduled MotoGP grand prix in Lombok’s Mandalika Circuit in March, noting that the looming threat of Omicron likely won’t put the brakes on the major event.

Sandiaga spoke about the fate of the race during a press briefing yesterday, saying that it will go on if — you guessed it — health precautions are followed.

“We will be strict with health protocol adherence. We understand the needs of the people and we will adopt policies that will enable us to say that the show will go on while being careful at the same time,” Sandiaga said.

Indonesia is currently banning the arrival of travelers from 14 countries categorized as high Omicron risk, including the UK, South Africa, and France. The ban may be subject to constant review and updated before MotoGP rolls around on March 18-20.

Related — Mandalika MotoGP Grand Prix: Bali may have to accommodate tourists due to hotel rooms shortage in Lombok

Organizers expect the 110,000 capacity Mandalika Circuit to be filled during the race weekend, and Sandiaga said that as of Jan. 3, 90 percent of hotel rooms in Lombok’s Mataram City have been booked for the period. There are also plans to set up glamping grounds near the circuit to help with the accommodation shortage on the island.

Race organizers recently released the price list for tickets, which are going for IDR115K (US$8) for general admission and up to IDR15 million (US$1,047) for a three-day premier class hospitality suites package.

The Mandalika International Street Circuit opened in November 2021, and held its inaugural race that same month, hosting the World Superbike Championship.

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