Jorge Lorenzo: Japan Yes, Motegi No

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Asphalt & Rubber is coming to you live from Laguna Seca for the rest of the week and weekend, and upon our arrival at the historic Californian track, we had a moment to talk to Jorge Lorenzo about his recent statement that he would not race at Motegi, even before Dorna’s independent safety review of the Japanese track was published.

Responding to the criticism that his statement ran counter to the “With You Japan” message Yamaha and the rest of the MotoGP paddock have been showing, Lorenzo made his position clear that he was for Japan, but not Motegi. Perhaps hinting that another circuit should be chosen for the Japanese GP.

“You know, I am a little bit disappointed about the people that think that we are not with Japan, especially that Casey and me are not with Japan,” said an agitated Lorenzo. “It is not true. We are with Japan. I don’t have any problem going to Japan — to a place that is not very close to the Fukushima plant. We don’t have any problem.”

“I can go to Iwata, the Yamaha factory, and I don’t have any problem. But, I don’t think a race like MotoGP at Motegi will help Japan to be honest. We can go to Japan, but to a safe place. To be honest we only speak very little time about this. Later we have a meeting to discuss all of this. I don’t know what is going to happen, but our point, the rider’s point, is not to go to Motegi. Not to not go to Japan, but not to go to Motegi.”

These statements hint at the opportunity that Lorenzo, Stoner, and the similarly subscribing MotoGP riders would entertain a round held at a different Japanese circuit, like Suzuka for example. How receptive Dorna would be to such an idea remains to be seen though, let alone the logistical feasibility of hosting the Japanese GP at another venue with such short notice. One thing is for certain however, this is not the last word we’ve heard on the Motegi issue.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved