Thailand set to step in for Indonesia

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MotoGP could race in Thailand for the first time in 2017, with the championship’s anticipated return to Indonesia delayed.

A race in Indonesia, a growing market for motorcycle manufacturers, had been on the cards for 2017, either at a renovated Sentul International Circuit or a new venue.

Sentul hosted a pair of grands prix in 1996 and ’97, but no circuit in Indonesia will be ready to host MotoGP next year.

Thailand has subsequently emerged as a possible addition to what would become a 19-race calendar, with the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.

The venue has a Grade A FIM classification and has hosted the World Superbike Championship in 2015 and ’16 (pictured).

Should Buriram join the calendar, it is believed it would join the late-season flyaway block that is currently Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang on consecutive weekends.

Rather than four races in four weekends, Buriram would be paired with Sepang and the sequence split into two double-headers separated by one weekend.

The other mooted scenario would be to pair Thailand with the Qatar season opener, but that could raise concerns about its proximity to Buriram’s World Superbike round in March.

MotoGP’s races in the Americas are expected to be flipped after some teams endured diabolical trips from Argentina to Texas earlier this year, with one week also set to be added as buffer.

The German GP’s contract renewal through to 2021 was not paired with the Sachsenring, which has hosted the race since 1998, with discussions on that front ongoing amid suggestions of a move or alternating deal with the Nurburgring.

MotoGP also announced earlier this month that Finland – with the KymiRing, designed by ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz’s company – is set to join the calendar in 2018.

Article by Autosport

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