PETALING JAYA: Sepang International Circuit (SIC) are hopeful of getting the green light to hold the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) from Oct 29-31.
Sepang has been listed as the 18th round on the provisional calendar after Japan (Oct 1-3), Thailand (Oct 8-10) and Australia (Oct 22-24).
However, SIC can be expected to implement a stricter standard operating procedure (SOP) as laid down by the National Security Council as it will involve spectators.
Last year’s round had to be cancelled for the first time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SIC chief executive officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif said regional races such as the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) can serve as a dry run for the Malaysian GP.
ARRC organisers are looking at going ahead with the series at Sepang this year but it is also subject to approval.
“That is the plan at the moment as we are still discussing with the Youth and Sports Ministry and relevant authorities on the SOP we need to implement if ARRC were to happen, ” said Azhan.
“Hopefully we can use this (ARRC) as a test case to see if these SOP can be applied to a bigger event such as the MotoGP.”
Another plus point is the fact that the entire world championship paddock and support staff have already received their vaccination shots during the Qatar rounds in Doha recently, thanks to a joint initiative by MotoGP rights holders Dorna and the Qatari government.
“Yes (I am aware of vaccinations), I was in Qatar recently to have a look at how MotoGP was being done there in terms of the safety protocol and SOP, ” said Azhan.
“We want to see how they controlled the whole event.
“If we can apply the same SOP and protocols here. I have full confidence that we will be able to go ahead with the MotoGP here later this year.”