Budget set aside to bid for MotoGP

The cabinet on Tuesday allocated 300 million baht to pay for the right to organise MotoGP, the world's motorcycle racing championship, for three years.

The budget would be for the annual rights fee of 100 million baht for the expected organisation of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) from 2018 to 2020, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said. For organisational costs, the government planned to later raise a fund with the private sector.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry proposed the project as Dorna Sports Group, the rights owner, planned to increase the number of host countries of the popular championship to 21 next year from 18.

Finland was already additionally included and the rights owner would choose two more countries. Thailand, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Hungary are vying for the right, Lt Gen Sansern said.

Thailand's victory will boost the country's image because the tournaments are broadcast live to over 600 million viewers in more than 200 countries. It will also boost confidence among tourists and investors, he said.

As Chang International Circuit in Buriram was viewed as the only standard venue in the country for the championship, the spokesman said income could be distributed in Buriram and nearby provinces.

The participation would also promote the motorcycle industry, related industries and benefit motorsports in the country, he said.

Application for the right must be officially filed within next month, Lt Gen Sansern said.

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