MotoGP set to gain Thailand round for 2018

Thailand is expected to join the MotoGP calendar in 2018

Chang International Circuit, Thailand, World Superbikes, 2017

Thailand is set to join the MotoGP calendar in 2018 with the Chang International Circuit in Buriram set to awarded an all-new round.

Located 400km north of Thailand’s capital Bangkok, the circuit has been hunting a deal to host MotoGP ever since it welcomed its inaugural international event in 2015 with a round of the World Superbike championship.

With series organiser Dorna confirming to a Thai MotoGP event was a 'possibility', has reported the deal has been completed and is set to be announced as part of the 2018 calendar.

It is understood Dorna demanded the Chang International Circuit had to see out its three-year World Superbike contract before getting the opportunity to host MotoGP.

When the round is officially confirmed, it will make the Chang International Circuit the first all-new circuit to join MotoGP since Argentina's Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in 2014. It will also take MotoGP to one of the motorcycle industry's biggest two-wheel markets.

Last year the Thailand World Superbike round topped the attendance charts for a single race weekend in the series with over 80,000 spectators attending Chang's WorldSBK round in 2016, making it the best attended event on the calendar by more than 10,000 people (Imola was second on the list with 68,000 people).

Though only two brand new venues have debuted on the MotoGP schedule since 2013 - along with a return to Austria's Spielberg circuit last year - a number of countries are understood to be seeking rounds, including Finland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Hungary.

Finland had planned a 2018 bid but is likely to now defer to 2019, the same year as the expected Indonesia bid.