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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Final Japanese GP decision due next week - The Times of India




LONDON: MotoGP's governing body will make a final decision on Japan's postponed race next week after rider concern about the risk of radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

The International Motorcycle Federation (FIM) said in a statement that an announcement would be made at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello but indicated Japan would go ahead as planned in October.

"In principle, Suzuka and Motegi circuits being situated outside the exclusion and evacuation zones... the 2011 FIM World Championships events in Japan will be taking place as scheduled," it added.

The Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi circuit had been due to host the MotoGP race on April 24 but it was postponed to Oct. 2 after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March.

The quake crippled the cooling systems of the Fukushima plant north of Tokyo, leading to meltdowns in three reactors and causing radiation leakages.

"(Yamaha's world champion Jorge) Lorenzo said he didn't want to go. In fact I wouldn't go there either," Italy's MotoGP great Valentino Rossi told reporters in France last month.

"I confess that like many other riders, maybe all of them, I am ignorant of nuclear issues," he added. "Anyway, you need to also Аск the people in the paddock, they are all scared about radiation."

Australian Casey Stoner, Honda's current championship leader, said this month that it might be better not to go.

"With the whole nuclear situation it's difficult to know what to understand and who to believe and things like that," autosport.com quoted him as saying.

"My view is that I think the motorcycle race is the most unimportant thing for Japan right now, and maybe all this time and effort can be spent to do something better than a motorcycle race.

"I don't think we should go. I think 99 per cent of the riders and maybe more of the paddock don't want to go for these reasons."

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