MotoGP: Racers Parade Through Jakarta

MotoGP: Racers Parade Through Jakarta

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

MotoGP™ enjoys a Presidential welcome with parade in Jakarta

20 riders head a parade through the capital in an unforgettable start to the inaugural Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

The Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia got off to an awe-inspiring start in the capital city of Jakarta on Wednesday, with a parade of 20 riders meeting up with the President, Joko Widodo, and riding through the city – joined by Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Ezpeleta.

The event began with a special breakfast reception, before the riders then entered the Merdeka palace for their meeting with President Jokowi. With the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship returning to Indonesia for the first time since 1997, it’s a huge weekend for the country and the sport – and the reception proved it, from the President and dignitaries to the fans lining the streets to get a glimpse of their heroes.

After the meeting, the group moved outside to look at the President’s bike and to line up on a grid at the palace for the start of the parade. With 20 riders all suited and booted, as well as Carmelo and Carlos Ezpeleta, it was a formidable spectacle as the train of bikes got ready to set off – and the President set the parade in motion waving a chequered flag.

 

MotoGP riders and others with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (seated on motorcycle) at his palace in Jakarta. Photo courtesy Dorna.
MotoGP riders and others with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (seated on motorcycle) at his palace in Jakarta. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Riders from local Honda, Suzuki, Ducati and Yamaha fan clubs also joined the train of bikes, creating an incredible sight as the convoy headed out into central Jakarta. It was around 4km from the palace starting point to the finish line at the Kempinski Hotel, with fans lining every inch of the street along the route.

Once arrived, the riders parked their machinery and greeted the fans, with a crowd gathering for another glimpse of the superstars before they head for Pertamina Mandalika Circuit. Once interviews were done, and a few knee sliders thrown to the crowd, it was then time to head back inside, cool off and gear up for the journey to Lombok, with track action set to begin on Friday morning.

QUOTES

Marc Marquez: “Many years ago we came here to Indonesia for Honda events, Honda Astra, and it’s something really nice, from my first year I’ve felt like people follow MotoGP a lot and it’s something amazing. They deserve 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.

“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. 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.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta: “It’s been an incredible event, with all the riders helping us a lot with this promotion, 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.”

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