Japan MotoGP race postponed- 16 Mar 2011 00:00:00
The Japanese MotoGP has been pushed back until later in the season following the deadly earthquake and tsunami last week.
The 8.9-magnitude earthquake occurred last Friday, and following the initial devastation, there are growing fears of a nuclear meltdown, following damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The race is staged in Motegi, and although it did not suffer irreparable damage itself, the road network between Motegi and Tokyo has been heavily damaged, making the staging of a major event in the MotoGP season unlikely.
The race, set for 24th April, has now been moved back to 2nd October, and is the second year in succession the Japanese race has been rescheduled, following the volcanic ash crisis in Iceland last year.
The ash cloud prevented the majority of the teams from flying from Europe to reach the Far East circuit.
The MotoGP season begins on 20th March in Losail, Qatar, and runs until the 6th November with the final round in Spain – the home of reigning World champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The Japan MotoGP is the next major sporting event in a succession of postponements and delays following disasters – the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled last month after anti-government protests and political unrest in the country, and the New Zealand city of Christchurch is to lose it’s Rugby World Cup games, after the stadiums and surrounding area suffered to much damage from the earthquake that also hit in February.