While a part of their island has been transformed into a world class racing circuit, local residents in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) will unlikely be among those in attendance when the Superbike World Championship (WSBK) burns rubber on the track for its debut later this month.
The 13th round of the WSBK is scheduled to take place on Nov. 19-21 at the Mandalika International Street Circuit. Tickets for the international event are already available online, with prices starting from IDR795,000 and going all the way up to IDR19.5 million.
As reported by Kompas, locals in the area have been visiting the circuit recently to get a glimpse of ongoing developments. Some have been seen taking photos near the circuit’s fences.
But that’s about as close to the circuit as many of them would get. Herlan, a resident from East Lombok, said tickets for the race are too expensive for him, but he’s willing to fork out the sum because he’s into motorbike racing.
“The cheapest one cost IDR795,000, it’s expensive for me, but because this is my hobby – when else can I watch it live on my own island?” Herlan said.
Meanwhile, a resident from West Lombok named Juned said he would rather watch the competition on TV.
“It’s better to buy rice rather than such expensive tickets, rice worth that much can last for a month, and plus we can watch [the competition] on TV,” he said.
“I hope that in the future ticket prices won’t be so expensive, maybe around IDR200,000 or 300,000, would be more affordable for local residents.”
Others, like Sartika from Central Lombok, said that a photo at the circuit is enough for now.
“I’m just taking photos here, we won’t be watching [live] when the race starts, because the tickets are expensive,” Sartika said.
The government hopes the 4.3 kilometer circuit would bring a large number of tourists to Indonesia, especially Lombok. Before the pandemic, organizers projected that Mandalika would host around 100,000 in a single grand prix.
US$ 1 = IDR14,337