WSBK: Thailand ’99.9%’ for 2015 calendar, Chile questionable

World Superbikes is 99.9% certain to visit Thailand in 2015, according to Javier Alonso, though Chilean round remains less clear.
Dorna says it is '99.9 per cent' certain Thailand will be included on the World Superbike Championship calendar for the first time in 2015, though a proposed race in Chile remains a question mark.

Having spoken of its intention to take World Superbikes to new and emerging markets in the future, Thailand's Chang International Circuit and Chile's venue in Codegua emerged as front runners to secure a spot on the provisional calendar for 2015, while this year's canned events in South Africa and Russia were also still believed to be vying for a spot on the schedule.

However, speaking at the final round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship in Qatar, Dorna's WSBK Executive Director Javier Alonso says, of the four, only Thailand's new venue, located in Buriram 400km north of Bangkok, is certain for 2015.

“I would say it is 99.9 per cent [certain to be included],” he said. “I was there two weeks ago - the race track is ready and that was the most important thing, the race track can host an event. We asked them for some small modifications but the reality is it can be homologated tomorrow.

“Since then we have been working on the contract and the deal is almost done. We are still working on some small pieces, but it will be announced soon.”

The Autodromo Internacional de Codegua, meanwhile, will host its first motorsport event next weekend with the arrival of the popular Argentinian-based ST2000 series, but Alonso says it is not quite ready to host an international event.

“Chile is a bit further away, the track is not quite finished,” he continued. “We visited at the end of the summer and what we saw we liked it. We gave instructions over what we need for it to be homologated, so we are working side-by-side with them. It is a new country, but they need some government support and this is slowing down the process a little bit. I cannot be so clear for Chile as I am with Thailand, but it is possible for next year.”

With MotoGP announcing its provisional 2015 schedule last month, Alonso admits Dorna is intentionally taking its time releasing a WSBK calendar. Using the example of this season's canned South African round, which was only cancelled two months before it was due to take place, Alonso says he does not want a repeat of the late changes it was forced to make in 2014.

“We would love to go to Welkom because in South Africa we have big fans and the television is great, but the track hasn't come to a reality. Maybe tomorrow they call us and say everything is clear, but to date we don't know what will happen.

“This is why we want to wait a little bit with the publication of the calendar because we don't want to publish it today and then change it again tomorrow. I would say that in 10 to 15 days we will be able to publish something.

“We are working with Russia also. They want us to be back but we want to be sure that if we put them in the calendar that it will happen.”

Should Thailand go on to be confirmed, it is expected to fill the sizeable gap between the Phillip Island season opener in February and the start of the European leg in

Tagged as: Phillip Island , Thailand , Chile , May , Welkom

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November 03, 2014 11:24 AM

Does 'emerging countries' mean more money in Dorna's coffers, than established countries (Germany, Czech Republic etc,) can afford. I thought Dorna wanted to reduce the cost of World Superbikes, but going to far flung places means extra expense for the teams - flights, hotels, car rental, food etc. And also for fans. So it will cost more. Also, these 'emerging countries' do not have a motorcycle sport culture and so there will not be loads of fans spending money at the track and creating a great atmosphere. Does anybody have an idea how many spectators were at WSBK in Qatar last weekend? I am thinking that there were probably more people working at the track than were spectating. It was probably a night race, so that the TV cameras wouldn't have to use any crowd shots. There is only one place for spectators to watch in Qatar, and that is a grandstand on the front straight. Qatar has no motorcycle culture, let alone a motorcycle sport culture. The rich people have exotic cars and, if

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