Indonesia has been waiting for the World Championship to return since 1997, the year of Sentul's last GP. But the wait is finally over, and Mandalika will be hosting the first MotoGP race on Sunday. There’s a great passion for motorcycling in the country, and the riders had already been warmly welcomed during the winter tests on the island of Lombok, but today they were surrounded by fans and all their warmth.
To kick off the weekend, 20 riders made a stop in Jakarta, where they met President Joko Widodo, who also loves motorcycles. After they were received, Marquez, Bagnaia, Mir, Bastianini, and all the other riders got on their bikes with the President for a very special parade through the streets of the Indonesian capital, also accompanied by Carmelo and Carlos Ezpeleta.
From the video above, you can see how huge the crowd was, with lots of fans who joined the parade on their bikes.
"I’ve been coming to Indonesia for many years for events organized by Honda, and it’s really beautiful,” Marquez commented. “From the very first time, I saw how people follow the MotoGP, and it’s fantastic. They deserved a GP, and they’re getting one."