The Mandalika Grand Prix Association ( MGPA ) has clarified the Aruba.it Racing Ducati cargo ‘unboxing’ controversy at the Mandalika Circuit , Lombok, which will hold WorldSBK Indonesia on November 19-12. MPGA said opening the cargo box was part of a customs clearance procedure or the import of goods.
As is known, the cargo of the WorldSBK, WorldSSP, and Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC) teams has arrived in Mandalika since Tuesday (9/11/2021) night, flown from Doha, Qatar. The cargo, which contains racing motorbikes, team equipment, and broadcast equipment from Dorna Sports, has also been placed in the paddock of the circuit.
However, horrendous news emerged from the German media, Speedweek, on Wednesday night. An employee at the circuit reportedly opened the Ducati cargo box in a video and several photos circulating. The cargo box opened contains the Panigale V4R motorcycle belonging to Italian racer Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
Inspection Witnessed by Dorna Sports and Customs
Cargo is actually only allowed to be opened by Customs and team members to avoid cheating in WorldSBK technical regulations. Sporting Director Ducati Corse, Paolo Ciabatti, reportedly angry because of this incident. WorldSBK Executive Director, Gregorio Lavilla, also apologized for this negligence and said the employee had been fired.
As quoted from Antara on Thursday (11/11/2021), MGPA’s Director of Strategic and Communication, Happy K Harianto, stated that all goods brought by Dorna Sports as the promoter of WorldSBK to Indonesia had to go through Customs and Excise inspection before getting permission to use it.
According to the procedure, the goods must be inspected and opened by the owner of the goods, namely Dorna Sports, together with the forwarder who takes care of the import and export of the goods. “When the inspection was carried out, the motorcycle box was opened by the forwarder witnessed by Dorna and customs clearance,” said Happy.
Regrettably There Are Uninterested Persons
The inspection is to ensure that the goods brought into Indonesia are in accordance with the master list. The results of the inspection will also become the basis for checking the goods that will be brought out of Indonesia after the race is over, whether they are in accordance with the number and type of goods brought in.
Happy also confirmed that the person was not an MGPA employee. “I make sure the inspection process is carried out in accordance with procedures. This is a very important event, which brings the name of the country to the world, so we try to be orderly in carrying it out,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Lavilla claimed that MGPA understood what was happening in the field and fully understood that this was due to the high enthusiasm of Indonesian fans in welcoming the WorldSBK event in Mandalika.
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WorldSBK Still Optimistic to Race at Mandalika in November 2021
Executive Director of WorldSBK , Gregorio Lavilla , admitted that he is still optimistic that he will be able to hold a race at the Mandalika Circuit , Indonesia, on November 12-14. Through the championship’s official website on Monday (23/8/2021), Lavilla stated that he was very confident that the circuit could be completed on time to welcome WorldSBK.
It is confirmed that Mandalika will only hold MotoGP in 2022, but is determined to host WorldSBK first in November as the 13th series this season. The Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA) on Sunday (22/8/2021) also announced via Instagram that the construction of the entire circuit has reached 93%.
The work on the south tunnel , north tunnel , track lane, and parapet has reached 100%. The asphalting of the inner and outer service roads has reached 99%, grass run-off 98%, gravel run-off 99% and asphalt run-off 46%. Gantry start/finish will be completed at the end of August, while race control, observation deck and spectator fence will be completed in September.
Want to Come to Argentina and Indonesia Without Quarantine
Before going to Indonesia, WorldSBK is known to plan to visit the San Villicum Circuit, Argentina, on October 15-17. Lavilla really wants WorldSBK to be able to hold a race there, considering last year’s event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The former Grand Prix rider is trying to prevent the entire WorldSBK paddock from having to undergo quarantine upon arrival there.
“Argentina has a good track and we want to go there without quarantine, because we intend to work in the ‘bubble’ to stay safe while still having the best facilities. a way to go there or not,” he said.
Lavilla stated, this situation is quite similar to Indonesia. The difference is, the Mandalika Circuit is still under construction. WorldSBK is also determined to come without quarantine in Jakarta, although it is very confident that the construction of the circuit will be completed on time. Lavilla said that his party would continue to monitor the situation in Mandalika.