BURI RAM IS gearing up for a Winter Test this weekend, which will serve as a preparation for the inaugural MotoGP Thailand in October.
Current world champion Marc Marquez of Spain and former champion Valentino Rossi of Italy, as well as their rivals in motorcycling’s top flight, will gather at the Buriram International Circuit to examine not only their latest technology and engines but also the track condition for the event set for October 5-7.
“As hosts, we are ready to welcome all MotoGP teams to this Winter Test. On the track, racers are testing their technical aspects. Off the track, there will be activities such as concerts, a Big Bike party and Thailand Grand Prix Expo,” said Tanukiat Junchum, director of Professional Sport and Boxing at the Sports Authority of Thailand, who is in charge of MotoGP Thailand.
In terms of preparations for the MotoGP, Tanukiat said there’s nothing to worry about as the circuit has already hosted a series of motor sports events. For him, the focus will be on facilities that must be sufficient to accommodate up to 100,000 visitors for the event.
“Hotels in Buri Ram can accommodate around 5,000 people. But we have new options like home-stays that can host more than 5,000 visitors. Also, proprietors of hotels in nearby provinces have been asked to allocate rooms during the competition,” said Tanukiat, who confirmed that the number of flights to the northeastern province would be increased during the tournament.
To promote Winter Test and MotoGP Thailand, Sports Authority governor Sakon Wannapong will lead a caravan of big bikes from Bangkok to Buri Ram on Saturday.
Yesterday, MotoGP stars including Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami of Japan, Suzuki’s Andrea Lannone of Italy and Yamaha’s Johann Zarco of France visited the Temple of Dawn to get a closer glimpse of the Bangkok landmark and learn more about Thai traditions.
They also called on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House before heading to Buri Ram.
“I hope that MotoGP Thailand will help promote Thailand and boost the country’s economy at the same time,” Prayut said.