TECHNOLOGY

THE BEST ASPHALT IN THE WORLD — MANDALIKA CIRCUIT 

Mandalika has one of the best asphalt technologies in the world.

19.12.2021
BY STOHUNT FAU
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The Mandalika Circuit in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on November 12. The circuit hosted the latest World Superbike WSBK Indonesia series on 19-21 November 2021 and is also included in the 2022 MotoGP calendar. 

The 4.31-kilometers-long Mandalika Circuit has 17 bends with a paddock area that can accommodate up to 50 garages. It also has a capacity of over 50,000 seats, as well as standing areas that can accommodate up to approximately 138,000 people. 

Mandalika area is considered the most suitable for building a circuit compared to other leading areas such as Labuan Bajo, Likupang, and Lake Toba. In addition, Mandalika is also known to be a leading tourist destination in Indonesia. 


Innovative asphalt technology

The Mandalika Circuit is equipped with the most innovative asphalt technology in the world, Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) technology. It is a mixture of asphalt to coat the surface, consisting of cellulose fiber material of 0.3 percent of the mixture's total weight, which makes for a better asphalt foundation. The racers will not easily slip on wet roads because SMA has a high penetration power of 82. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by FIM MotoGP Mandalika Indonesia (@motogp.mandalika)


This technology strengthens the structure of the surface layer, which makes the asphalt volume slighter. Until recently, the technology could only be found on three circuits, namely Silverstone in England, Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, and Phillip Island in Australia.

Director of Construction and Development of the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA) Dwianto Eko Winaryo said the technology only started to be used in 2015. The Mandalika circuit, he said, employed an improved version compared to the SMA that was used during that time.

"The Stone Mastic Asphalt provides better macro textures for racers," he said last September. According to him, SMA also provides good grip and offers high skid resistance.

"It's as if when they accelerate, [the tires] get a grip, and during deceleration, [the drivers] will also be able to control their vehicles well," he said.

He said that the last layer of asphalt also uses SMA technology, namely prioritizing gluing stones, with not too much asphalt content. The SMA relies on rocks. Because the asphalt component is minimal, the circuit requires high-performance asphalt.

Former Head of Operation-Sporting MGPA Dyan Dilato explained that SMA has certain superior qualities to it, including its four different contours.

"Particles of the SMA are neither too dense or too porous, so new circuits are expected to use this asphalt," said Dyan in Mandalika last October.

When examined in detail, the asphalt surface is superbly flat, as the adhesion between the particles is not too tight in order to avoid creating lumps and bumps. SMA can reduce maintenance costs as there is no need to replace the circuit's surface for the next five years.

 

Class-A circuit

The Mandalika Circuit is a Class-A category circuit. The innovations and technology it employed have met the requirements with lofty specifications by the French federation called the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Thanks to the quality of the asphalt it used, the Mandalika Circuit track is claimed to be able to be used at speeds of up to 310 kilometers per hour. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by FIM MotoGP Mandalika Indonesia (@motogp.mandalika)


The asphalt quality of the Mandalika Circuit also received praise from two international drivers, namely Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding, after Mandalika WSBK Race 2, which was held in wet track conditions — in which Jonathan Rea came out victorious. Jonathan said that the Mandalika circuit is one of the circuits with the best grip in wet conditions in the world.

 

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