THE SPORTS Authority of Thailand (SAT) Governor, Sakon Wannapong, will lead a Thai governmental team to Milan in June to bid for a MotoGP race in 2018.
Sakon has decided to carry out negotiations with Dorna Sports SL, the commercial rights holder of MotoGP, which will select two nations among Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Finland for inclusion in the 2018 calendar.
The SAT chief took over the bidding responsibility from Buriram United International Circuit, which is owned by former politician Nawin Chidhob and is the only circuit to have applied for a government concession.
“It came to our attention that the bidding process with Dorna should be the responsibility of the Thai government. The rules are clear that there cannot be a single body from the private sector for government bids. There should be at least two. We have informed Buriram about this and they will understand,” Sakon said.
The cabinet earlier approved Bt300 million as the licence fee for hosting MotoGP for three years from 2018. Sakon, who will fly to Italy on June 2, is confident that Thailand will be granted the rights to host what would be its biggest-ever motorsport event.
Buriram Circuit remains favourite to organise the event if Sakon receives the nod from Dorna and opens a bid for private sector companies to stage the MotoGP Thailand event. Buriram is the only racing circuit of FIM standard in Thailand and has experience of hosting international races such as the World Super Bike, Asia Road Racing and GT Series Asia.