Sports Authority of Thailand claims MotoGP race deal

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) has said it has agreed terms on a three-year deal to stage a round of the MotoGP motorcycling championship from 2018.

The SAT said it received approval from Dorna Sports, MotoGP’s commercial rights-holder, following talks held in the Italian city of Florence at the weekend. Dorna is yet to confirm the deal, which is set to run from 2018 to 2020.

Thailand’s race is expected to be held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, a provincial city in the northeast of the country. The circuit held its third consecutive World Superbike Championship (WSBK) race in March and the city has established itself as a sporting hub.

“The talks took three hours and concluded with Dorna Sports being willing to give Thailand rights for three years beginning in 2018 up to 2020,” the SAT said.

The statement added that the first race weekend would be held between October 5-7, 2018, adding that “written confirmation” is expected shortly.

MotoGP is poised for another new race in 2018. In July 2016, Dorna said an agreement had been reached for a Finnish race to be held at the under-construction KymiRing track at Tillola, which is near the city of Kouvola. Dorna said it was working closely with the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) in order for the circuit to be homologated in time for the 2018 season.

Finland previously hosted motorcycle grands prix in Tampere and Imatra between 1962 and 1982. MotoGP is currently without a Nordic race on its calendar.