Thailand will be hosting MotoGP from 2018 after Carmelo Ezpeleta signed a three year deal in the Asian country.
The Dorna CEO was in Thailand yesterday to complete a deal to bring MotoGP to Buriram until at least 2018. Ezpeleta along with Sakon Wannapong, the Governor of Sport Authority of Thailand, General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, and Pongpanu Svetarundra, Ministry of Tourism and Sports all confirmed the deal yesterday in a press conference to local media.
The Biriram International Circuit currently hosts World Superbikes and has shown its capable of hosting World Championship level motorcycle racing, so MotoGP was the logical next step for the two-wheeled crazy country.
General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand said that the agreement will have a great effect on Thailand.
“We are happy that MotoGP is coming to Thailand and you can see that this is a very good deal for everyone, and all the stakeholders in motorsport fully support it,” said Patimapragorn.
“Even though they are competitors, they have all come together and would like MotoGP to happen in Thailand. We would like to say thank you the circuit of Buriram and to Carmelo, and thank you to the media. There are a lot of media here today, and that means that a lot of people will be very interested in the race.
“It is a challenge for Thailand to be the host of MotoGP, but beyond the circuit, it will also be good for infrastructure of Thailand – to upgrade the airport, to get ready for everyone to go to the circuit. Not only for Buriram, but also the area and the north eastern part of Thailand.
“They welcome this major event to the north east, and believe the economic and the tourist impact will be very good for Thailand. Thank you to Dorna Sports, for coming to Thailand with MotoGP.”
Ezpeleta said that MotoGP has long had an interest in Thailand and is delighted to finally get them confirmed for 2018.
“Today the Sports Authority of Thailand and Dorna Sports signed the contract for the Grand Prix of Thailand to be at the circuit in Buriram from 2018 to 2020″ he said.
“Thailand is a big consumer of bikes also and they are happy to use MotoGP to develop tourism here in Thailand. We are very proud to have made this agreement with the Thai government. The races here so far have been Superbike – who will also renew the contract in the near future – and we see that there’s a lot of expectation.
“MotoGP has had a lot of interest in Thailand, and it’s sure to be a Grand Prix with a lot of interest from everyone. We need to fix some of the dates but the calendar is finished, and I hope we can soon announce the draft calendar for 2018.”