The Indonesian MotoGP comeback has been a long-held ambition for organisers and stakeholders in the sport, but the reality of putting on a race in one of the most bike-mad countries in the world has proven to be an almost impossible challenge.
The history of false starts for races in Indonesia is well documented and while neighbouring nations like Malaysia and most recently Thailand have found a happy home for motorsport, Indonesia continues to search through its many islands that make up the nation to find a suitable destination.
MotoGP has put on the Indonesian Grand Prix before, two to be precise, in 1996 and 1997.
With title sponsorship backing from Marlboro and headline-grabbing stars – Mick Doohan won the inaugural 500cc Grand Prix in 1996 and a year later a young Valentino Rossi won his final 125cc race on the way to his first world title – the Indonesian GP had a short but sweet history at the Sentul International Circuit.
For 1998, the Indonesian round was replaced by Argentina, officially at least, while underlying complaints about the circuit and organisation were often cited as the reasons the sport hasn’t returned in the past 20 years.
In the period since MotoGP left Sentul numerous plans have been plotted to ensure it returns to Indonesia but without success.