Thailand MotoGP in Buriram cancelled for second successive year

The Thailand MotoGP in Buriram becomes the latest overseas event to be axed from the 2021 MotoGP World Championship schedule

MotoGP start field Thailand

The 2021 Thailand MotoGP has become the latest event to be axed from the 2021 MotoGP World Championship schedule as a direct result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Doubts were raised earlier this week about whether the event, held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, would go ahead following a spike in new cases and a lethargic vaccination rate.

As such, organisers have moved quickly to confirm the end of ticket sales and drop the round - due to be held on 17 October - from the schedule.

"The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the OR Thailand Grand Prix, which was set to take place at Chang International Circuit from the 15th to the 17th of October. 

“Despite the best efforts of all parties involved, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have obliged the cancellation of the event.

"The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship looks forward to returning to race in front of the incredibly passionate Buriram crowd in 2022.

"A replacement event is currently under consideration and any updates regarding a possible substitute will be published as soon as available."

MotoGP to erring back towards European schedule

Thailand’s axing comes hot on the heels of an announcement earlier this month that both the Japanese MotoGP and Australian MotoGP at Motegi and Phillip Island have also been dropped for the same reasons.

It means only one event is scheduled to take place in Asia - the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang - with that and the Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA the only non-European rounds among the nine confirmed still to run, though an Argentine race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit remains TBA.

With a second Portimao event installed to replace Australia and Japan, it remains to be seen which circuit will get the nod to replace Thailand. Last year Aragon and Misano were doubled up in place of cancelled events, while Dorna could choose one of the newer venues recently added to the WorldSBK schedule at Estoril (Portugal) and Navarra (Spain).

The new Mandalika Street Circuit in Indonesia remains on MotoGP’s reserve list, though it is more likely to be inaugurated by a WorldSBK round first before being included on the 2022 MotoGP calendar.

Thailand’s exit is a blow for Dorna and MotoGP given it has become the best attended event of the year with a huge 225,000 people flocking through gates over the three days of its inaugural round in 2018.

Revised 2021 MotoGP World Championship Calendar [as of 21/7/21]
128 MarchQatar MotoGPLosail International CircuitQatar
24 AprilLosail MotoGPLosail International CircuitQatar
318 AprilPortuguese MotoGPPortimaoPortugal
42 MaySpanish MotoGPJerezSpain
516 MayFrench MotoGPLe MansFrance
630 MayItalian MotoGPMugelloItaly
76 JuneCatalunya MotoGPCircuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain
820 JuneGerman MotoGPSachsenringGermany
927 JuneDutch TT MotoGPAssenNetherlands
108 AugustStyria MotoGPRed Bull RingAustria
1115 AugustAustrian MotoGPRed Bull RingAustria
1229 AugustBritish MotoGPSilverstoneGreat Britain
1312 SeptemberAragon MotoGPMotorland AragonSpain
1419 SeptemberSan Marino MotoGPMisanoItaly
153 OctoberGrand Prix of the AmericasCOTAUSA
1624 OctoberMalaysian MotoGPSepangMalaysia
177 NovemberAlgarve MotoGPPortimaoPortugal
1814 NovemberValencia MotoGPValenciaSpain
-11 JulyFinnish MotoGPKymi RingFinland
-3 OctoberJapanese MotoGPMotegiJapan
-17 OctoberThailand MotoGPBuriramThailand
-24 OctoberAustralian MotoGPPhillip IslandAustralia
- Argentinian MotoGPTermas de Rio HondoArgentina
- Indonesian MotoGPMandalika CircuitIndonesia

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