Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez ready to put on a spectacle for Indonesia’s MotoGP fans as they prepare for Grand Prix racing’s return after 25 years.
Indonesia holds fond memories for the Repsol Honda Team, Mick Doohan and Tadayuki Okada won the two previous races held in Sentul in 1996 and 1997. The 1997 edition, the last race in Indonesia, saw the Repsol Honda Team lock out the podium with Okada winning ahead of teammates Doohan and Alex Criville. It’s a welcome return to Indonesia, especially with the incredible support always shown by the country’s fans.
The Repsol Honda Team arrive with boosted confidence after a strong start to the year under Qatar’s floodlights. Pol Espargaro led the team home in third with Marc Marquez rounding out the night with a productive fifth place, the combined results putting the Repsol Honda Team at the top of the Teams’ Championship. More consistent results are the aim for this weekend in Lombok as both Espargaro and Marquez start putting together their respective seasons.
Espargaro enjoyed his best start to a MotoGP season of his career, leading the opening race for 17 laps on his way to third place. Having topped the final MotoGP pre-season test at the Mandalika Circuit, the #44 arrives with a good base. Resurfacing work after the test will present Espargaro and the rest of the grid with a new aspect of the track to master and assessing these changes will be first and foremost in the weekend’s plan.
Marquez’s results during the Mandalika Test also offer early positive indications for him and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage. Showing the potential of the new Honda RC213V with an impressive front-row performance in Qatar, Marquez is eager to keep the improvements coming as his feeling with the new machine grows. Brand new MotoGP circuits have been somewhat of a specialty for the #93 in the past, winning his first premier class Grand Prix in Austin when the US tack debuted on the calendar. He also won the inaugural Thai GP in 2018 and the first Argentinian round held at Termas in 2014.
Weather will no doubt be a major factor over the weekend as showers have been occurring daily in the lead up to the race. The MotoGP race will begin at 15:00 local time on Sunday, March 20.