The Mandalika Experience

Last weekend the World Championship returned to Indonesia after 25 years, a must because of the importance of the local market for the big Japanese factories – almost 6 million bikes are manufactured there every year – and because of the Indonesians’ devotion to MotoGP. For the occasion, the World Championship was premiering the Mandalika circuit on the island of Lombok, so it was the first time for everyone.

For Remy Gardner the weekend was a succession of new experiences, as the weather proved to be very capricious. Two of the four practice sessions were held on wet asphalt, two others under a tremendous heat. On Sunday, a downpour fell minutes before the scheduled start of the race, forcing the start to be postponed.

When the riders finally lined up on the grid, the asphalt was completely wet. A circumstance that, as in the case of Gardner, led the ones starting in the second half of the grid to be enveloped in clouds of water that complicated terribly their vision. In these circumstances Remy did what he had to do: ride his bike to the finish line. Obviously he wasn’t satisfied with it, but the complicated race in Mandalika will undoubtedly serve him to take a new step forward in his evolution a MotoGP rider.

Kaito Toba’s result in Indonesia was also far from expectations after his podium in Qatar two weeks earlier. On Sunday Toba san made amends for the bad practice with a recovery race that took him into the points.

His teammate, rookie Joel Kelso, had instead a good race. Starting 22nd, he fought in the group that disputed the positions immediately behind the Top 10. Finally, the experience of his rivals prevailed in the final sprint. But Kelso is clearly benefiting from the learning curve of racing in the World Championship. The results will come, no doubt.

In two weeks the World Championship will resume its activity in Termas de Rio Hondo, where the GP of Argentina will be held.