MotoGP 2022: Sepang Winter Test model for hosting international motorsport events in Malaysia
Currently underway this weekend of February 5-6, the 2022 MotoGP Winter Test will serve as a test bed for future international motorsport events in Malaysia. Sepang International Circuit (SIC) CEO Azhan Shafriman Hanif said the winter test is important because the government as well as race organizers Dorna will use it as a model for future SIC events.
“The Winter Test is the first international motorsport event in Sepang since the start of the pandemic. As such, the eyes of the authorities, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior will pay close attention to the SOPs we have proposed and are implementing,” Shafriman said.
Saying that it took a lot of work to convince the authorities to allow the winter test to continue, Shafriman explained that the gradual easing of standard operating procedures in line with government guidelines is necessary for the health of the national economy. “We will have to learn to live with Covid-19, in the hope that it will end up being endemic,” Shafriman said.
This will affect the scheduling of the 2022 Malaysian Grand Prix, which is expected to take place in October this year. “We have to wait and see, but God willing, MotoGP Malaysia will go ahead as planned,” Shafriman added.
Whether the Malaysian Grand Prix will take place with a capacity-limited crowd or if it will be open to all will depend on the authorities, Shafriman explained. “Certainly MotoGP Malaysia has been voted the best for two years and MotoGP teams love the circuit. Many are delighted to be back in Malaysia for winter testing,” he said.
“We saw crowds of over 160,000 and it’s obvious the fans are ready to come to SIC and support not just MotoGP but other motorsport events,” Shafriman said, using the unexpected crowd. who shows up to watch the Winter Test from the main stand. for example.
Shafriman said the CIS is also considering external sources of income in the future with the withdrawal of the grant from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. “We will organize events such as cycling, which has proven popular with the public,” Shafriman said, “and the driving center where driving enthusiasts can improve and hone their skills is ongoing.”
In terms of motorsport talent development, the SIC MiniGP program is still in place and will identify grassroots talent for years to come. “Our Spanish CEV boys are still competing, and we are aiming to bring Damok into Moto3 next year,” Shafriman said.
Based on this, Shafriman expressed his gratitude to Malaysian motorsports fans for their support and patience over the past two years with the cancellation of MotoGP Malaysia in 2020 and 2021. “It has been a difficult time for a lot and I’m grateful to the Malaysia fans always support CIS by coming to watch the Winter Test.