Govt nod for Thailand GP extension likely soon

Govt nod for Thailand GP extension likely soon

The Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram ended on Sunday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram ended on Sunday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government is expected to approve the Thailand Grand Prix's contract extension next month, the country's sporting chief said on Monday.

Under the current contract with Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holder of MotoGP, the Kingdom will host its third and final Thailand Grand Prix next year.

Dorna wants Thailand to be a MotoGP host for another five years, Thai officials said.

Sports Authority of Thailand governor Gongsak Yodmani said the company has already submitted related documents and conditions for the country to consider.

He added that parties concerned would gather information on what the country has gained from organising the race.

Economic and tourism benefits arising from hosting the Thailand Grand Prix for five more years will be ascertained and should be ready for submission to the cabinet for consideration by next month, Gongsak said.

"Thailand has massively benefited from hosting MotoGP," Gongsak said.

"A contract extension should be complete after the cabinet approves it in November."

According to an estimate by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the second Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram at the weekend enjoyed a slight increase in the number of spectators over three days.

There were 226,655 spectators from Friday to Sunday -- 4,120 more than last year's tally.

As for the new contract, the SAT will ask the government to shoulder two-thirds of the annual fee for Dorna to help ease the financial burden on the private sector, Gongsak said.

The annual fee to host a MotoGP race is reportedly 300 million baht and the government currently helps pay one-third.

Chang International Circuit, the venue of the Thailand Grand Prix, takes care of the remaining two-thirds.

The third Thailand Grand Pix will be held in March next year at the same venue and it could be a night race to avoid the heat, said circuit owner Newin Chidchob.

Honda's Marc Marquez sealed his sixth MotoGP world title on Sunday after beating Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo.

The Spaniard also won the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix last year.

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