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2018 was an important year for Thailand and MotoGP™. On the paddock's first visit to Chang International Circuit for testing, fans flocked to the track to get their first glimpse of the sport and ahead of the first ever Grand Prix in the country, the pre-event in Bangkok showed the fervor for MotoGP™ as more than 100 representatives of the media packed in to hear the thoughts of reigning Champion Marc Marquez. There was a lot of expectation but the Thai GP was an incredible success and has now been named the best of the season by the MotoGP™ Paddock and the decision communicated to the Grand Prix Commission.
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The event at Buriram was also the best attended with over 220,000 people heading to Chang International Circuit over the three days. They were treated to a modern classic as Marquez fought it out with Andrea Dovizioso down to the final corner, coming out on top for the first time in one of the pair’s many head-to-head duels in the last few seasons. It was an exciting and fitting debut, with the Thai venue and crowds providing the perfect backdrop. Rewarded for the incredible organisation, facilities and atmosphere at the event, the Thai GP will now look ahead to 2019 in a bid to retain the prestigious prize.
Newin Chidchob, President of Chang International Circuit: "On behalf of both the people of Buriram and Thailand, we are extremely honored to receive the MotoGP Grand Prix of the year 2018. We are sincerely grateful for the recognition we have received for PTT Thailand Grand Prix. Of course, during the preparation of the event we ran into countless obstacles, but in overcoming them we grew, and ultimately resulted in the success of the event. A big thank you to all our event and circuit sponsors especially the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and PTT Public Company Limited for the immense support during this event. We must also thank the people of Buriram, for showing the capability of Thai people to the world. Many of the unique functions of the event such as the “E-Tan” truck which we utilized as the event’s shuttle bus. The Muay Thai (Thai boxing) expo to showcase Thai martial arts and culture. Not to mention all the volunteers who came to simply pick up the trash and keep the event clean. Everyone really came together to make this sports entertainment experience for our visitors from around the world unforgettable. Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our good friends Dorna Sports who saw potential in us and gave us the opportunity to be a part of the world’s greatest motorcycle series. We promise to always use the experience gained in every event to create a better PTT Thailand Grand Prix every season. Thank you!"
Herve Poncharal, President of IRTA: “The whole MotoGP paddock was keen to discover how the new Thai GP would be, we were impatient for it to arrive and there was plenty of expectation. In the end we can be assured it was the best GP of the season due to many different aspects – we expected good, but we didn’t know quite what they would be able to achieve.
Riders talk about a spectacular inaugural GP in Thailand
“Everything went smoothly, the commitment of the organisers was fantastic and they faced any problems through the weekend quickly, trying to find solutions as soon as possible. The crowd, the people…every single person involved was happy and always smiling. The fans’ support was incredible, the access to the circuit was fast and they demonstrated that they understood MotoGP – creating a commercial area close to the paddock, giving good exposure to our businesses, investors, sponsors, teams and riders. It’s also significant that a new event in this area – an important region for MotoGP – has achieved this result. It’s a perfect example for other countries to follow and this prize is fully deserved. From my point of view it will be hard for them to improve!”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “I was delighted to welcome Buriram onto the MotoGP calendar and I’m delighted to see the Thai GP be recognised as the best this season. Asia is an important market for the Championship and events like Buriram only further underline the incredible popularity of our sport in the region. They are a perfect blueprint for future events and we’re excited to return to Buriram already.”
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