Valentino Rossi has bemoaned the likely addition of Thailand to the MotoGP calendar, citing the Buriram track's layout and location as reasons he is "not very happy to go" to the South East Asian country in 2018.

Although unconfirmed, paddock rumours - and the Thai media - suggest Thailand will be the third Asian country to host a race next season, with the 2.7-mile Chang International Circuit, which has hosted a round of the World Superbike championship since 2015, the chosen venue.

Responding to the news, Rossi said a recent trip to the Thai venue left him unmoved, and feels the location in Buriram - around 250 miles north east of capital Bangkok, which translates to a five hour drive - would be inconvenient for the traveling MotoGP community.

"I think 18 is already a good number," was Rossi's response in the pre-event press conference when the possible expansion of the series to 19 races was posited. "If from 18 goes to 19, it doesn't change the world. But if it's possible to remain 18, I'm more happy.

"Especially, the problem, I think, [is] I was in Thailand for Yamaha two years ago and the track is not interesting. It's very boring, has not a lot of corners, just long straights. I think it's not the best place to go.

"And also where the track is, is quite bad, it's far from everything. So I'm not very happy to go to Thailand, essentially, on that track. But if we have to go, we'll go."

Marc Marquez agreed with his Italian rival, stating the current number of races per year was "already a lot", but was open to the idea of sampling a new setting and layout.

"Like Valentino says, 18 race is already a lot," said Marquez. "Maximum, I don't know the plan in the future, but maximum 20 races will already be the limit for the riders. But, OK, Thailand is a new track, I like new tracks. Always when we go to new tracks I feel good. So why not? I like it."

Meanwhile, championship leader Maverick Vi?ales opined the possible expansion of the series would make it more difficult for riders to maintain their peak physical condition for an entire season.

"It's always difficult," he said. "When it's more races it's even more difficult because you have to continue on your 100% all of the year. It's really difficult. When you have a great physical condition, six, seven more, you start to go down.

"But every person will go down, you cannot stay at the top level all the year. It's going to make it more difficult, but also it's going to be good for the show, more interesting. Let's see. I don't know. I like to go to new places, new tracks that we can enjoy it.

"Thailand, the place is quite nice, so it's going to be quite nice to go there. It's going to be good. Also, the other places, I like to go to new tracks and try it, and not always the same tracks. It's going to be difficult to make all of the year at a really good level."

By Neil Morrison

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