The importance of Indonesia to MotoGP will come as no surprise to regular readers of MotoMatters.com. Indonesia retains a huge fan base for motorcycle racing's premier class, as witnessed by the fact that it is the country with the highest number of searches for the term "MotoGP", according to Google Insight, with nearly 3 times as many as the country in second place, Italy, and nearly four times as many searches as Spain.
Indonesia's importance as a market was underlined at the beginning of the year, when Yamaha Indonesia became sponsors of the factory Fiat Yamaha team. Its importance has been further emphasized by the announcement that Astra Honda, the Indonesian subsidiary of the Japanese motorcycling giant, is to sponsor the Repsol Honda squad for the final MotoGP round at Valencia, and also for the whole of the 2011 season. Astra Honda's slogan "One Heart" or "Satu Hati" in Indonesian, is to feature prominently on the leathers and on the lower fairing of the Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP machines.
No figures were revealed for the size of the sponsorship deal, but a quick glance at the size of the Indonesian market provides an understanding of what is at stake. The country's nearly 238 million inhabitants purchase a total of between 6 and 7 million motorcycles every year, mostly small capacity scooters. To put that into perspective, that's nearly 10 times the size of the US motorcycle market. Astra Honda alone sells 3.3 million units in Indonesia, and even with the slim margins that are available in the Indonesian market, it is clear that the stakes in Indonesia are staggeringly high.
The nearest MotoGP race to Indonesia remains the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, just outside Kuala Lumpur, and a return to Indonesia is unlikely until a suitable circuit can be found. But with such a huge potential market, a return to Indonesia seems inevitable in the near future.
The official Honda press release is shown below:
NEW SPONSOR REVEALED FOR REPSOL HONDA TEAM AT VALENCIA
The Repsol Honda Team today unveiled the new logos that will feature on the side of the factory RC212Vs and also on the riders' leathers at Valencia and in 2011. The "One Heart" logo features prominently on the race suits of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, and also on the lower fairing of the factory Honda race machines.
"One Heart" is the slogan of Astra Honda, Honda's subsidiary operating company in Indonesia, where Honda is the market leader and produces 3.3 million motorcycles per year. In Indonesian, One Heart translates to "Satu Hati", which is also displayed on the machines and the riders' uniforms. The motto reflects the dreams, passion, and the lifestyle shared by Honda and its young and vibrant customers in Indonesia.