MotoGP says Thai race will go ahead, renews Valencia deal

Dorna Sports, the promoter behind the MotoGP motorcycling series, has confirmed that this year’s Thailand Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled next month. 

Speculation had been mounting that the race would be cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, which has led to the suspension of several major sporting events across China and Asia, including Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix in April.

After monitoring the developing situation over the past weeks, the Thai Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control has judged that there is no major risk to visitors to the country due to strict preventive measures put in place by the Thai government. 

To date, there have been 35 confirmed cases of the virus in Thailand and no recorded deaths. Half of those 35 have made full recoveries – the highest rate of recovered patients worldwide – with the rest remaining in quarantine.

The Sports Authority of Thailand confirmed today (Friday) that the race would be able to go ahead on the planned dates of March 20-22.

Dorna has also announced that it has struck an extension to its deal with the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The new agreement runs between 2022 and 2026 and will see the track host at least least three grands prix during those years, each of which will serve as the season-ending finale.

The Valencia Grand Prix is guaranteed to take place in 2022, the first year of the deal, with Dorna suggesting that it may alternate with other venues on the Iberian peninsula, returning to Valencia in 2024 and 2026. 

Ximo Puig, president of the Government of Valencia, said:“We have always said that this was a fundamental Grand Prix for the economic impact it generates and what it represents for the development of tourism in the Valencian community, as well as the hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans in Valencia – that’s why we have come to this agreement.”