Malaysian GP: SIC satisfied with 163,000-spectator attendance after two-year lapse

24/10/2022 01:50 PM

SEPANG, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- After a two-year hiatus, the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix came roaring back at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) here, with 163,567 spectators turning up for the three-day event which ended yesterday.

The attendance may have fallen short of SIC's target of 170,000 but the presence of almost 90,000 spectators on the last day indicated that the prestigious race remained popular with motorsport fans although there were no local racers in the Premier class of the Sepang race.

SIC chief executive officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif said he was very satisfied with the turnout and was determined to rectify all weaknesses, especially from the aspects of preparation and planning, to ensure that more spectators would attend the next edition.

"I think we can do better next year as this year we started late. We announced ticket prices before Ramadan this year and we started promotions in earnest in June. So June to October did not give us much time (for promotions).

“God willing, next year we will start early … we will rest for a while (after the Malaysian GP) and will start working for next year's promotions. We have also recently announced super early bird tickets and there will be also early bird tickets after this," he told reporters here.

A total of 21,015 spectators were recorded at the SIC on Friday, followed by 53,937 on Saturday and 88,615 yesterday.

The Malaysian GP, which was not held in the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, saw Ducati Lenovo's Francesco Bagnaia closing in on his maiden world title after finishing first in the MotoGP class.

Gresini Racing's Enea Bastianini and Monster Energy Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo took second and third places respectively.

Elf Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tony Arbolino won the Moto2 race while Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max's John McPhee triumphed in the Moto3 category.

Azhan Shafriman also said SIC would organise the Sepang 1,000 km car race soon, as its original date clashed with the 15th general election (GE15).

“Next year, we will look forward to the Sepang 12 Hours endurance race, which was organised for the first time in 2016 and was then called the Merdeka Endurance Race. Our other international events have yet to be confirmed," he said.

In other developments, Azhan Shafriman gave an assurance that SIC will continue to support the development of motorsports in the country to produce more talented riders such as Syarifuddin Azman, or fondly known as Damok, who will compete in the Moto3 class next year.

"We will continue to support Damok, ZK Racing and KBS (Sports and Youth Ministry). We will always support Malaysian talent on the world stage. In terms of funding, we will discuss this, maybe after the general election," he added.

On Friday, Damok was officially announced as a participant in the Moto3 competition for a full season with the MTHelmets-MSI team.




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