Mandalika wraps up inaugural MotoGP race in rain
MotoGP riders compete during the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia at Mandalika International Circuit, Lombok, Indonesia on March 20, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Mandalika. Indonesia welcomed the return of MotoGP after 25 years at the brand new Mandalika International Circuit in Lombok this weekend.
But the main event was interrupted by torrential rain just before the start to repeat similar delays when the circuit hosted World Superbike races on its international debut in November.
With the presence of President Joko Widodo and the surprise appearance of a shaman performing a ritual to stop the rain along the pit lane, the race started on a wet track for 20 laps, seven less than originally planned.
Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira mastered the wet race to claim his first victory of the season on a KTM while Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo finished second from pole position after an epic battle for the podium with fellow Frenchman Johann Zarco, who finished third on a Ducati.
Many Indonesian fans were disappointed after Marc Marquez was unable to start after being declared unfit to race following a huge crash during the warm-up session. But overall the event was a success for the country, which won a 10-year contract from Dorna to host MotoGP.