Indonesia To Host Both MotoGP And WorldSBK From 2021

Indonesia is to get a round of MotoGP and WorldSBK from 2021. Confirmation of the news came faster than we expected yesterday, as Dorna issued two press releases on Saturday, announcing that both World Championship series it manages will race at the new circuit to be built at Mandalika in Lombok.

That MotoGP would race there is not a surprise, but that WorldSBK would also visit had not been much talked about. But this follows the same pattern as the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, where WorldSBK was sent to the track first as a trial run, before MotoGP went to race there. The agreement announced by Dorna envisages both series going in the same year, starting in 2021.

The races are to be held at a circuit to be built inside a giant tourist resort on the south coast of the island of Lombok. The track will run on what are ostensibly the public roads inside the resort, but the roads will be laid out with a circuit in mind, making this nothing like traditional street circuits like Macau or the Isle of Man. Run off should not be an issue, and the rest of the circuit facilities are due to be built inside the resort. The Mandalika resort is a project of the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation, which is looking to expand tourism to Lombok, as tourism on Bali is starting to approach its natural limits.

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2019 Jerez Moto2 Test Day 3 Times: Binder And Lowes Break Into The 1'40s

Brad Binder has set out the marker for the new and revised Moto2 class, smashing the Moto2 lap record around Jerez by a second, and breaking into the 1'40s. For comparison, that is a tenth of a second slower than Valentino Rossi's 2004 MotoGP pole time at the Spanish circuit, set using a 990cc Yamaha M1 and special Michelin qualifying tires.

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2019 Jerez Moto2 Test Day 2 Times: Alex Marquez Beats Brad Binder As Wind Plays A Role

Stiff winds hindered the Moto2 riders on the second day of testing at the Jerez test, though the heavier, more powerful bikes were not quite as susceptible to the conditions as the Moto3 bikes were. Alex Marquez finished the day as fastest, just shy of Luca Marini's best time from Wednesday, the Marc VDS rider finishing just under a tenth quicker than Brad Binder on the factory KTM.

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2019 Jerez Moto2 Test Day 1 Times: Marini Fastest As Lecuona Impresses

Luca Marini leads the first day of the Moto2 test at Jerez, the Sky VR46 rider posting fast laps throughout the day to end the day as quickest. Though Marini was happy to be quickest, he had not been able to focus on his race pace, as he still has some weakness in his shoulder after surgery in November. He can manage only 8 laps before his shoulder starts causing him issues.

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Motorcycle Racing Is A Profitable Investment: Bridgepoint Sells Dorna To Itself

Motorcycle racing is a profitable business, it turns out. The leading UK financial paper Financial Times reported yesterday that Bridgepoint Capital, the private equity firm which owns Dorna, among many other assets, has hit upon a relatively novel way of paying out investors, by transferring the roughly 40% of Dorna which it owns between one Bridgepoint fund and another. 

The proposed sale is a result of a review carried out by merchant bankers Lazard at the end of last year, with the aim of fixing a value and finding potential buyers. According to the FT, several private equity firms expressed an interesting in buying Bridgepoint's stake, including former owners CVC. 

That sale is now off the table, it appears. Instead of selling Dorna to an outside party, Bridgepoint is now investigating setting up a separate, internal fund and moving it from one fund to another, paying its investors from the transfer between the two funds. The sale allows Bridgepoint to pay out Dorna's increased value to investors who put their money into the fund Bridgepoint set up to hold Dorna in 2008, after it had performed a similar maneuver between 2006 and 2008.

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2019 Jerez Moto2/Moto3 Private Test Day 2 Times: Lowes And Rodrigo Leave As Fastest

Sam Lowes has topped the timesheets at the second day of the private test for some of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, the Gresini rider going over a tenth faster than Sky VR46's Luca Marini. Both riders improved their times from the first day by a significant margin.

Alex Marquez ended the second day as third fastest, and third overall. Nicolo Bulega was fourth quickest on Tuesday, but could not match the times set by Tom Luthi and Jorge Navarro on Monday.

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2019 Jerez Moto2/Moto3 Private Test Day 1 Times: Marini Leads Close Group

Ahead of next week's first official Moto2 and Moto3 test at Jerez, a few teams are gathered at the Andalucian circuit to prepare the 2019 season in the lower classes. Present are the Sky VR46, Marc VDS, Kiefer, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Gresini Racing, Dynavolt IntactGP, Italtrans, Idemitsu, CIP Green Power, and Speed Up teams, making use of the fine weather in Jerez.

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