The cabinet yesterday gave the green light for Thailand to host MotoGP races, the Tourism and Sports Minister said. Under the plan, proposed by the ministry, Thailand would host a motorcycle Grand Prix for three years from 2018-2020.
The Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram is the proposed venue for the race.
The government would give the private sector 100 million baht a year to help stage the race for three years, according to Ms Kobkarn. Newin Chidchob, chief advisor of the circuit, said the circuit was to hold talks with Dorna Sports to finalise a deal. Dorna is the commercial and television rights holder for MotoGP, the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.
The circuit is likely to need about 900 million baht to stage the event for three years and negotiations should begin later this month, Mr Newin said. “A conclusion should be reached next month,” he added.
The circuit is already host to a World Superbike Championship race. If a deal is struck, the Thailand race is likely to take place around October when several races are normally held in Asia and Australia.
The Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang is currently the only MotoGP event in Southeast Asia. There will be 18 races this year beginning in Qatar at the weekend.
No Thais have ever competed in MotoGP.