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Image: The man’s Instagram post. Credit: IG.

An official MotoGP photographer, Gareth Harford, was not a happy camper after arriving at the pre-season track test of the new Mandalika Circuit, Lombok this the weekend. Not because of the state of the track but because the price of one mandatory PCR test. He was charged 310 pounds or approximately Rp. 6 million for a single test.

Harford got onto social media to complain about the exorbitant price, which was picked up and went viral all around the country and globe. Good job fellas.

So, like it or not, Harford had to pay the Rp. 6 million. He also got a shock when he learned that he had to do two more PCR tests, spending another Rp. 12 million just to take part in a series of events at the Mandalika Circuit.

His social media then became very active as he said he would need a loan to pay the costs.

“310 pounds (Rp 6 million) for the PCR test and there are two more tests. Someone is making money (a lot) somewhere,” complained Harford, quoting from Instagram stories @garethharford, Thursday (10/2/2022). I wonder who that is…

The IDR 6 million cost per PCR test is a ridiculously expensive price. Especially when President Joko Widodo, issued a regulation in October saying that the highest PCR test rate or price would be only IDR 275,000 for Java-Bali and a maximum of IDR 300 thousand for outside Bali and Java.

The Instagram post was later shared on Twitter where local people began spreading the news and offering their opinions on who was making the money and what a rip off it was. Some pointing out that whole extended families live an entire month on way less than that amount.

Regardless of all this, Harford said he was happy to be in Indonesia and continued to carry out his work as a photographer.

The pre-season test of the Mandalika Circuit, is being held from Friday 11 February until Sunday 13 February 2022.

The riders will then rest again and prepare for the next MotoGP race held in March at the Losail Circuit, Qatar.