WSBK announces new date for Indonesia season finale
The World Superbike Championship has confirmed that Indonesia will host the final round of the 2021 season, but the race has been pushed back to November 19-21.
Doubts have begun to emerge about Indonesia’s return to the WSBK calendar following a deadly COVID-19 wave in August, with cases in the South East Asian country peaking at well over 50,000 a day.
Apart from coronavirus-induced travel restrictions, there were also question marks over whether the new Mandalika Street Circuit in the Lombok island will be homologated in time for the race.
However, on the eve of the 10th round of the season at Jerez, the WSBK said in a statement that it will press on with the Mandalika race, its first in Indonesia since 1997.
However, it has decided to push the race forward by one week from its original date on November 12-14 to allow Indonesia to host a round of the Asia Talent Cup.
WSBK added that changing the date also allows the series to avoid a clash with the MotoGP title decider in Valencia.
WSBK enjoyed a brief stint in Indonesia between 1994-97 at the permanent Sentul International Circuit, before the country dropped off the calendar entirely.
Two-wheel racing has seen a recent surge in popularity in South East Asia, with Thailand hosting its first MotoGP Grand Prix in 2018.
Indonesia was also due to hold a MotoGP race in 2021 at the same Mandalika circuit, only for the pandemic to lead to the cancellation of the event.
Plans are now in place for the country to make a long-awaited debut on the MotoGP calendar in 2022.
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