International motorcycle racing returns to Indonesia with help from Lintec and Linnhoff asphalt plants

International motorcycle racing has returned to Indonesia after a 24-year hiatus. A Lintec CSD3000 containerised asphalt plant, which is believed to be the largest mixing plant in the country, has been key to delivering its new, premium-quality racetrack in record time. Two units of Linnhoff TSD1500 MobileMix asphalt plants were also deployed to produce the asphalt mix for the run-off areas.

The construction work on the 4.31-km Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit on Lombok Island’s southern coast began in June 2020, as part of the Indonesian government’s campaign to promote new international tourist destinations. Paving works began in February till August 2021, with the entire project completed by October 2021.

The circuit was ready to host its first race – the finale of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) season – during 19-21 November 2021. The next event will be the MotoGP international motorcycle racing in March 2022, which returns following a long absence.

Tough surface

As the resort area of Mandalika forges ahead with its multi-billion dollar transformation into a luxury coastal resort worthy of rivalling nearby Bali, the track will become the only street circuit in the prestigious MotoGP calendar functioning as an ordinary road when no events are scheduled.

The surface layer is specially paved using stone mastic asphalt (SMA) mixture, which combines the tough coarse aggregate Tau stone from Palu, Central Sulawesi, with performance grade (PG) 82 polymer-modified bitumen (PMB). Also added was limestone filler from Ponorogo and Probolinggo, East Java, and cellulose fibre additives from Germany, only the highest-quality materials were used.

Such asphalt mix is ideal for the project. By strengthening the structure of the surface layer so that it remains strong through stone-by-stone contact, its high cohesive strength provides greater resistance to intense heat and heavy loads. Additionally, by remaining non-slippery in wet conditions, this mix is especially suitable for racetracks in tropical regions.

The Lintec CSD3000 features effective screening, accurate weighing, proper and efficient drying, and an output of up to 240 tons per hour. This high-capacity asphalt plant was chosen to minimise the paving joints for a smoother racetrack surface. It supplied a total of over 50,000 tons of hot mix asphalt for the three layers of the main track; namely the asphalt concrete (AC) base layer, AC binder layer, and the SMA surface layer.

“The contractors appreciated the consistent quality of the finished mix,” said Teo Siang Leong, general manager (sales) at Lintec & Linnhoff Asphalt Pte Ltd. “And, because of our unique double screen drum technology, they benefited from considerable energy savings as there is no hot elevator or vibrating screens – this also resulted in higher reliability and required less maintenance work.”

Indonesia’s first

As the first asphalt plant of this size to be used in Indonesia, the Lintec CSD3000’s innovative modular construction (the entire plant is built inside ISO shipping containers for safe, economical transportation) allowed for fast installation and commissioning after arriving on the jobsite.

Two Linnhoff TSD1500 MobileMix asphalt plants also worked on the project. These mid-size models of the range produced 90-100 tons of hot mix asphalt per hour, and were primarily used for the run-off areas around the main track.

The run-off areas play host to a large paddock facility containing 40 garages, along with temporary grandstand seating for 50,000 fans and 7,700-person-capacity hospitality suites, all of which will be removed at the end of each race schedule. Moreover, there is a standing tribune area catering for 138,000 spectators.

Operated by the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA), the generally flat circuit features 17 turns – many of them medium- or high-speed – with just a few hard braking areas. It has met the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Class A level, and is also aiming to meet the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Grade 1 level to be eligible for consideration as a potential future Formula 1 venue.

A bird’s eye view of the circuit while it was under construction can be seen here, and a CGI rider’s view here.