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Ready, steady, go! Buri Ram fully prepared for historic GP, says Minister

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Thailand is ready to host its first ever MotoGP event, Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat declared after making a final check-up at the Chang International Circuit on Thursday.



 The minister and his entourage, including Sports Authority of Thailand governor Kongsak Yodmanee, inspected the venue in Buri Ram where the PTT Thailand Grand Prix gets underway from today until Sunday.
 Weerasak checked several areas in the complex such as the media centre, international broadcasting centre, local media centre, sponsors’ booths, spectator stands and other facilities for riders and fans. 
He was impressed by the preparation, saying Thailand and Buriram were now ready for the inaugural MotoGP.
 “Even though it’s our first time hosting a MotoGP, we have carried out the tasks perfectly ranging from the circuit, accommodation, transportation and restaurants,” said the minister after the inspection.
 Thailand has signed a three-year deal, at a cost of US$3 million (Bt 98m) per year, to host the world’s biggest motorcyle race in the northeastern province from 2018-2020. 

Valentino Rossi meets his fans in Bangkok on Wednesday.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the event and up to Bt2 billion income is predicted by the government for each race.
 The best riders in the world, including defending world champion and heavy favourite Marc Marquez of Honda, Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati, currently No 2 in the championship standings and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi of Kawasaki, are already at the circuit to prepare for the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.
 Buri Ram is the 28th circuit to hold a MotoGP race since it replaced the 500cc class as the premier class of motorcycle Grand Prix racing in 2002.
 In addition, Thailand is the 20th different country to host a MotoGP race since 2002 and the 7th different Asian country to host a Grand Prix after Qatar, Turkey, Japan, Malaysia, China and Indonesia.
 The Chang International Circuit venue will be the 37th different circuit that Rossi has raced at during his Grand Prix career.
The Italian is the most successful rider in the MotoGP class in Asia with 14 wins: Sepang (5), Losail (4), Suzuka (2), Shanghai (2) and Motegi (1). He has won a total 89 wins with three manufacturers Honda, Ducati and Yamaha.
 Buri Ram is one of just four circuits on the current Grand Prix schedule where Valentino Rossi has not had a MotoGP victory yet, along with Austin, Texas, the Red Bull Ring in Austria and Aragon, Spain.

Published : October 04, 2018

By : Lerpong Amsa-ngiam The Nation