ROADGRIP Motorsport Indonesia (RMI), as the main contractor for the construction of the Pertamina Mandalika Circuit, is very confident that the track in Lombok, NTB is ready to be used to hold a MotoGP racing event this weekend after it has been re-paved.
Around 17.5 percent of the total 4.3km track had to be re-paved following a dirty track incident during pre-season testing on February 11-13.
The FIM and Dorna then identified two areas that needed improvement, namely the cleanliness of the track surface and the amount of aggregate, such as sand, dust and gravel or rock fragments, that was on top of the track and recommended repaving sections of the track before Turn 17 to after Turn 5.
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PT Indonesia Tourism Development ITDC stated that the re-paving process had been completed on Wednesday afternoon (9/3), about a week before the first MotoGP practice session.
“Honestly, it’s going really well. The results we got with this re-paving have made us very confident that we have the best possible result that you can achieve in a very short time,” said RMI General Manager Simon Gardini as quoted by the official MotoGP website, Wednesday. .
“All the labs, physical tests, visual inspection of the track surface in the field, ITDC, MGPA and R3, all felt the process was going well or better than we thought in such a short time.
“Usually a surface like this is done longer, three or four months before the event, so we’ll wait when the bikes hit the track to see how it goes in that short amount of time.”
Furthermore, Gardini revealed that after the contractor PT PP completed the re-paving last week, the track had to be cooled because the weather in Mandalika was very hot.
Then there are a number of activities carried out in the afternoon and evening to maintain the cleanliness of the asphalt, such as deploying a Trackjet fleet equipped with a high-pressure water spray machine to clean the track.
“Every night the engine is moving at 600 meters per hour so when you have a 1.6km section of track and have to go back and forth 12 times to cover the width of the track, it takes time,” Gardini said.
The experts involved have also tested the grip of the track and, Gardini claims, the track grip level has been increased by 80 percent.
“Even now maybe there has more grip than the unpaved part of the track.
“We’re not nervous but of course with a high-level event like this we really want to see how everything goes and how the two surfaces work together. Enjoy MotoGP,” said Gardini.
A number of tests for the track are scheduled for Thursday before the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP bikes hit the ground running in free practice the following day. (Ant/OL-6)