Arriving in style: two wheels take centre stage in Indonesia

It's a country close to MotoGP™ - and the recent Asian Games started in stunning style!

President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, made quite an entrance to the recent Asian Games held in the country. A hugely important market for motorcycles, the President heads into the arena in Jakarta on two wheels – and even pulls a few stunts!

Motorcycles are a key part of life in Indonesia and MotoGP™ is one of the biggest sports in the country, attracting an incredible amount of fans and devotion – with crowds even gathering to watch races together. There may not currently be a Grand Prix on Indonesian soil, but the grandstand atmosphere pervades as fans get together to enjoy MotoGP™.

That’s not to say MotoGP™ itself doesn’t visit. Teams such as the Repsol Honda Team often have their new season launch events in Indonesia, and the riders then visit different places and parts of the country. The Repsol Honda machines also bear the phrase ‘Satu Hati’ – one heart – and have done since 2010. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, too, made some important pitstops in the Asian nation early in 2018 and ‘Semakin di Depan’, seen on the Iwata marque’s machinery, is the motto of Yamaha Indonesia. It means ‘one step ahead’.

It’s not all about meeting and greeting or corporate visits though – there have also been some seriously entertaining TV appearances from the likes of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, and they’ve spent time with younger riders in Indonesia as well as attending fan sessions and signing autographs.

On track there’s plenty home glory for Indonesians to cheer for too – and more coming through the ranks. Mario Aji leads the Indonesian charge as he makes waves in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, fighting for wins and the title, and riders such as Gerry Salim in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship continue to make progress. In addition, Moto2™ European Championship podium finisher Dimas Ekky also made his debut in the World Championship last season. He was a replacement rider at Sepang in 2017, before making an appearance with his CEV team, Indonesian-backed Astra Honda Racing Team, at the Catalan GP this season.

What will the future hold for these talents and the many more emerging? Will there be an Indonesian Grand Prix on the horizon? One thing is for sure: MotoGP™ and Indonesia will remain incredibly important to each other.

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