Credit: Myanna WedesThailand could be on the MotoGP cards for 2018 Myanna Wedes June 9, 2017 From The Editor's Desk There are rumours circulating that Thailand could be a new addition to the MotoGP calendar for 2018 with people wanting answers about the chances of the news being accurate. The reports are that the agreement was discussed and signed in Italy when the Mugello Grand Prix was on and that an announcement is imminent. Originally, it was thought that Indonesia would be on the cards however it is said that the facilities are nowhere near the standard they need to be as of yet. In the future, we think an Indonesian race would be suitable as the fans are very passionate and would love to see some racing on home soil. If there were any chances of Indonesia joining in the mix, a quality circuit would be required and why not have Rossi in the mix to help create a five star racetrack. We are just thinking outside the box. If you want the Doctor to be happy, put him in to track surgery where he can race hard and fast. The one rider who is not happy at all about the prospects of a Thailand Grand Prix is Valentino Rossi. On Thursday at the official press conference, Rossi made his presence known in regards to his feelings about a potential twenty races and it is clear his preference is to keep the MotoGP calendar as is. Valentino Rossi: “I like the current number of races: eighteen. If it possible to remain at eighteen, I would be happy.” “Especially, the problem, I think was that it is very boring and has not a lot of corners, just long straights. I think it is not the best place to go for a race”. The Doctor was very stern in his approach and felt that the event should not be included on the calendar. “Where the track is, it is quite bad, it is far from everything. So I am not very happy to go to Thailand. But if we have to go, we go”. Looks like the Doctor may just be in for the track at Buriram (Chang International Circuit) that is quite the distance from Bangkok and includes a five-hour drive to get the circuit, which would be quite the inconvenience for the MotoGP paddock. If you do the math and start adding up the hours involved just to get to the circuit, Rossi has a point. On the other hand, you have to look at the fact that this part of the world is mad for motorsport. There is a perfect reason why Dorna, sponsors and bike brands want to journey to this part of the world. Clearly, the main issue here is that some riders are very happy to go race at new circuits whilst other riders feel that the current calendar is suitable and there should be no reason for change. Marc Marquez had a very different opinion to Valentino Rossi. In fact, Marquez welcomed the idea of a Thailand Grand Prix and his smile was very large compared to the blank stare of Rossi. Marquez did agree that eighteen races was already a lot. With that said, Marquez likes to explore and try new things. Marc Marquez: “Thailand is a new track and I like new tracks. Always when we go to new tracks I feel good so why not. I like it!” The current World Champion was adamant that a Thailand Grand Prix could work. The controversial questions were asked at the press conference on Thursday where it was unexpected and the riders answered with complete transparency. Maverick Vinales spoke about the physical condition required to do so many races and felt that adding more would just be harder to manage from that point of view. Maverick Vinales: “It’s always difficult. It is 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”. Vinales has plenty of time in the sport and as he grows, the idea of new challenges is attractive as he feels the more the sport grows the better it is for everybody. Physically speaking it will be a major curveball for the riders if the number of races increases although being a top paid athlete means performing at a peak level no matter what takes place. Overall, there are positives and negatives to any new race. Right now, by adding a Thailand Grand Prix it appears that there will be four flyaway races with a one-week break in between them. Therefore, it could be Japan, Thailand, time off and then Australia and Sepang. In the meantime, we will have to await the news and see how Dorna wants to match up the calendar to allow for competitive racing as well as logistical means to ensure the teams and riders arrive on time and fresh for competition. No doubt there will be an increase to benefit Thailand’s motorcycle industry!