10 November 2014
WSBK: Thailand round confirmed, gets March date
The Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand is confirmed to host its inaugural World Superbike Championship round in March 2015.
Thailand will feature on the World Superbike Championship schedule for the first time in 2015 after Dorna officially confirmed the new Chang International Circuit will host a round for the next three years.
The new event has been rumoured for some time, with Dorna WSBK Executive Director recently revealing that Thailand is '99.9 per cent' certainly on the schedule for 2015, but this announcement confirms it will be held on March 20-22.
This is significant since it will help bridge the traditionally sizeable gap between the season opener at Phillip Island in February and the start of the European leg in April. The 2015 opening round will take place on 20-22 February 2015 in Australia.
The Chang International Circuit, which only last month hosted its first motorsport event, is an all-new purpose-built venue located in the city of Buriram – around 400km north-east of the Thai capital Bangkok – and becomes the 24th new nation to feature on the WSBK calendar.
“We are pleased to announce the introduction of the Thai Round in the calendar, as a clear evidence of our goal to reach new key markets for the motorcycle industry,” said Alonso. “Over the last two years the World SBK has accomplished to be present within important regions, such as the USA, Malaysia, Australia and Qatar with successful events, and we keep working in this direction.”
A potentially huge deal for Dorna and WSBK, Thailand has been identified as one of the world's key motorcycle markets and the passion for motorsport is growing too. As a measure of its potential, more than 130,000 spectators attended the inaugural event at the Chang International Circuit last month, a round of the Japanese-based Super GT series.
“Chang International Circuit is located in Buriram, one of the northeastern provinces of Thailand, and can accommodate up to 40,000 spectators. The track is 4.554 km in length, and its 12 corners are designed to support the highest speeds. Last October the circuit hosted the Buriram United Super GT race, with a crowd figure of 131,000 spectators and hundreds of media covering the event. We look forward to hosting our first world competition for motorcycles and we are proud this will be the eni FIM Superbike World Championship.”
Dorna suggests all 12 completed rounds on this year's schedule are confirmed to continue in 2015, with Thailand and possibly two others - most likely Russia and Chile - potentially being included too.
A confirmed calendar is due to be released on November 18th.
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