Japanese MotoGP given the ‘all clear’

The Japanese MotoGP race planned for October 2 will go ahead as planned, after radiation risks were dismissed as ‘negligible’.

The race, scheduled for the Motegi Twin Ring circuit, had been in doubt after the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March, and the accident at the Fukushima nuclear powerplant which followed, but the MotoGP race will go ahead “provided no other serious incident takes place in the meantime.”

An official report on Tuesday, which admitted to “the presence of radioactivity contamination due to the Fukushima accident in the Motegi Twin Ring track areas,” but also said that the likely radiation dose for all those attending the event over a one-week period could be “considered normal,” and would be in line with major cities such as Rome and Madrid.

The Motegi venue is not far from the Fukushima plant, which suffered major damage as a result of the natural disasters and led to a 30km evacuation zone being set up in its vicinity.

Australian championship leader Casey Stoner said in July that he would not attend the Japanese race because of the risk of radiation.

“I will not go. That’s my opinion and I’ve had it for some time,” he said at the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring.

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo has also said that he will not compete, but it remains to be seen if the FIM-commissioned report persuades them to change their minds.

by Buford Balony

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