The World Superbike Championship is heading to Thailand next season, with the Chang International Circuit set to host the series on March 20-22, 2015.
“We are pleased to announce the introduction of the Thai Round in the calendar, as a clear evidence of our goal to reach new key markets for the motorcycle industry,” says Javier Alonso, executive director for promoter Dorna WSBK. “Over the last two years the WSBK has accomplished to be present within important regions, such as the U.S.A., Malaysia, Australia and Qatar with successful events, and we keep working in this direction.”
The International Motorcycling Federation and Dorna announced the Buriram, Thailand, track has received homologation approval to host the series. That’s an important step, as some other new circuits, South Africa’s Phakisa Freeway being the most recent example, had been added to the championship in recent years only to be removed after failing homologation.
The Chang International Circuit track is 2.82 miles long, running clockwise through 12 corners. The longest straight runs 0.62 miles and the track’s top speed is rated at 195 mph. The circuit can accommodate up to 40,000 spectators.
Though not quite as large as other Asian countries such as Indonesia or Vietnam, Thailand is still an important market for the motorcycle industry.
“One of the objectives of the FIM is to have races on every continent,” says Vito Ippolito, president of the FIM. “The Asian people are very enthusiastic about motorcycling and having Thailand in the 2015 calendar is a real honour and achievement for all of us and very important for the sport!”
Dorna and the FIM are still working on the 2015 WSBK calendar which will be published Nov. 18. The 12 circuits on the 2014 calendar have all been confirmed for 2015, with organizers targeting a maximum of 15 rounds. It’s unclear at this point what the other two rounds are, though possible candidates are Phakisa (pending homologation) and Moscow, which was canceled following Russia’s activities in Ukraine.