WorldSBK returns to Mandalika for the Motul Indonesian Round
Alvaro Bautista returns to the track where he claimed his title as the Championship leader after Round 1
The Mandalika circuit hosted its first WorldSBK race in 2021 with an incredible title decider between Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea and decided the outcome of the 2022 Championship.
Lombok provides stunning scenery all around the circuit with incredible coastlines on one side and beautiful hillsides and lush countryside on the other, making for a stunning location for exciting racing in WorldSBK.
MANDALIKA’S HOT SPOTS WITH LORIS BAZ
T1: “T1 is not really difficult. It is a case of hard braking and trying to make the apex really nicely. You just need to be precise there.”
T10: “I think this is the corner where you see the most mistakes in the race. You always want to ‘over brake’ there, because you always feel like you’re too slow and you brake too late. If you are behind someone it’s a really nice spot to try to outbrake someone.”
T16: “Don’t listen to your brain so much. It tells you to release the brake because you’re too slow – but you are not too slow, you are too fast. Super-slow in T16, then short acceleration. Yeah, a lot of exit power there you can give us a lot of power.”
WorldSBK | KEY STAT
Jonathan Rea doesn’t occupy one of the first three Championship spots for the first time since Phillip Island Race 2, 2020, 98 races ago.
What to look out for in Mandalika
The WorldSBK paddock heads to Indonesia for the second round of the 2023 campaign.
Alvaro Bautista sits at the top of the Riders’ World Championship after his Australian hat-trick. The 2022 WorldSBK Champion returns to Mandalika, where he claimed his title, with a 28-point advantage over second-placed Andrea Locatelli. Bautista’s teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi also had a good first round of the season and occupies the third place in the standings, his best classification so far.
With three top five finishes at Phillip Island, including a third place in Race 2, Andrea Locatelli is second in the Championship standings, his best-ever position, with 34 points. In 2022, he claimed a third position in the Tissot Superpole Race and two fourth places in Mandalika’s long races, making the Yamaha rider one to look out for at the Motul Indonesian Round.
After a mixed weekend in Australia, Jonathan Rea will aim to bounce back in Indonesia where he has a strong record, with five podium places scored in all five races held at the venue, including two wins in 2021.
Following his DNF in Race 2 at Phillip Island, Toprak Razgatlioglu will be eager to recover and move up the order in the standings, having only scored 23 points over his Australian campaign, giving him sixth place in the standings. Mandalika is a special track for him, as he won the 2021 title there and achieved a track-trick of wins in 2022.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea And Lowes Head To Mandalika
KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes will take part in a promotional event on the Indonesian island of Bali before making the short hop to the island of Lombok for the second round of the WorldSBK championship, to be held at the Mandalika International Street Circuit.
The Indonesian round of the championship will take place between 3-5 March, just one weekend after an eventful opening weekend in Australia.
Currently Rea is third overall, having taken second place in Race One at Phillip Island, overcoming the fully wet track conditions to do so. He will be looking to Mandalika to get back into the podium positions after unexpected seventh and eighth place finishes in the two subsequent Australian races.
Rea has scored two race wins and three other podium places in his previous visits to Mandalika.
Lowes had one strong Superpole race finish in fourth place at Phillip Island and two unfortunate falls in the longer races. Mandalika is his first chance to get back into podium contention again, on what will be WorldSBK’s third visit to the impressive 4.310km long circuit on the south coast of the popular tourist island of Lombok.
The weekend in Indonesia will begin with two Free Practice sessions on Friday 3 March, then FP3, Superpole Qualifying and Race One on Saturday 4 March. Sunday 5 March will feature the ten-lap Superpole Race and then a final full distance Race Two.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It’s good to start the 2023 season at the two circuits where we finished the previous season. The Superbike calendar is really good this year. We will try to capitalise next weekend at Lombok with some good points scores and look forward to understanding the year in general. Last year in Lombok I felt good until the last part of the races where the risks I was taking were really overloading the front. I expect to be stronger in Lombok than I was last year. We will go and try our best. Lombok will be more of a gauge for us than Phillip Island, as it is more of a normal circuit design – although it will be very hot.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Mandalika was our worst track last year and Phillip Island was our best track. I have one target for next week and that is to enjoy riding because I think it might be a tough weekend for us. We have worked really hard to improve our package but it looks like either we have dropped back or all of our opposition have jumped a bit forward. We have got work to do. It is going to be hot and slippy, which are not the best conditions for us. We will work hard from Friday, enjoy it and try to grind out three good results.”
Returning WorldSBK star Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will look to Mandalika for an upturn in his prospects after three no-scores in Australia.
Twenty year-old Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki), in his second full WorldSBK season for his team, is out to score points at Mandalika, as he continues his personal learning curve inside the biggest production-derived championship of all.
More, from a press release issued by Team HRC Honda:
Team HRC readies itself for Indonesian WorldSBK round
From Australia straight to Indonesia, Team HRC is now on-site at the Mandalika International Street Circuit where the second round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship is scheduled to take place this coming weekend.
Factory riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge made a promising start to their 2023 campaign during the season-opener in Australia but are keen to build on those initial results at the Indonesian track. Thanks to their results at the first round, Iker and Xavi currently place seventh and tenth in the championship standings.
Lecuona was unable to compete in last year’s Mandalika races due to injuries sustained in a crash during the weekend’s first practice, but he is eager to tackle the Indonesian track now for the first time. Vierge scored a best result of sixth during last season’s round, when all three of the weekend’s races played out in very hot and humid conditions.
The beautiful circuit, which is situated in the Mandalika area of Lombok island, was only inaugurated two years ago, in 2021, when it staged the WorldSBK season finale. The track measures 4.3 km in length and features a total of seventeen turns, namely six left-handers and eleven right-handers.
Weekend schedule (CET +7):
10.00 – 10.45 – SBK FP1
13.00 – 13.45 – SBK FP2
8.30 – 9.00 – SBK FP3
10.40 – 10.55 – Superpole
13.30 – SBK Race 1
8.30 – 8.45 – SBK Warm-up
10.30 – SBK Superpole race
13.30 – SBK Race 2
Iker Lecuona 7
“I really happy to be in Indonesia and I just hope that the track conditions are better than they were last year, at least as far as I was able to experience, because my weekend was brought to a premature end after a massive high-side. But I like the track and I’m excited to be back in Mandalika and to race here for the first time. After the Australian weekend, I think we’re ready to fight again. We’re still learning about the new bike, so we’ll see but I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Xavi Vierge 97
“We now have the second round of the year at an amazing circuit. I really enjoyed last year’s races and I’m looking forward to getting back there, as there was an incredible atmosphere with great fans. I love the track, it’s a layout I really enjoy, but hope it will be in a better condition than last year, as this will make for more exciting races. I can’t wait to get started!”
More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:
Compared to 2022, rear allocation has been revised towards softer choices: out goes SC1 and in comes SCQ
Pirelli has decided to bring softer rear tyres, compared to those chosen in 2022, for the Indonesian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, the second in the calendar after Australia’s kick-off round. In the light of the data collected in November, when the last race was held in Mandalika, Pirelli was able to verify that the new asphalt is not excessively abrasive but can reach quite high temperatures. The soft solutions at the rear are therefore the ideal choice because they are able to guarantee better grip. For this reason, this year the medium SC1 solution is no longer present in the rear tyre allocation and instead the extra soft SCQ has been included, which will be used in Superpole and, if the conditions are suitable, also in the Superpole Race.
Front: the new 2023 standard solutions are confirmed: medium SC1 and hard SC2. Given that Mandalika is a circuit that puts stress on the front tyre, last year the SC2 solution was by far the most used.
Rear: three options, two of which can always be used and one only for qualifying and Superpole Race. Those available throughout the weekend are the super soft SCX-A (development spec. B0800) and the soft SC0, the latter being the most chosen from last year. For Superpole and the Superpole Race there will also be the extra soft SCQ, which is also standard.
The riders will have the standard SC1 and SC2 available on the front while at the rear they will be able to choose between the standard SCX and SC0. In 2022 the SC1 was the most used front choice in Race 1 while the SC2 was the most chosen in Race 2. At the rear, the most used option was the SC0.
Further details on the tyre allocation are available in the technical data sheets attached to this press release.
Soft solutions will guarantee more grip in the heat
“Last year the resurfacing work on the Mandalika circuit was completed a few days before the round and, not knowing the characteristics of the new asphalt, we had decided to bring also rear tyres that were a little more protected from a wear point of view: the selection consisted of SCX B0800, SC0 and SC1. However, we have seen that the SC1 was practically never chosen because with high asphalt temperatures it was unable to offer the grip that instead the SC0 was able to guarantee, which is why it was the choice for the races. For this year we have decided to confirm the SC0 and SCX B0800 by adding the SCQ for qualifying and the Superpole Race. At the front, SC1 and SC2 are also confirmed. We will therefore rely almost exclusively on standard tyres that all motorcyclists can regularly buy on the market. At this time in Indonesia, it is the rainy season so the wet tyres already used in Australia could come back in action”.