Jorge Lorenzo: Japan Yes, Motegi No

07/21/2011 @ 1:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

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

  • “but our point, the rider’s point”

    It’s his point. Not all peoples point. But it’s funny… Now he’s changing sightly his speech “Japan ok, is Motegi only”

    Looks like he have forgotten why they stop racing at Suzuka also…

  • Motominded

    Suzuka and Sugo are ready! Daijiro Kato’s passing was terrible but it does not mean Suzuka is the most dangerous track on earth. It was widely agreed his crash was due to rider error. After 2003, the Japanese championship still held events there and the Suzuka 8 hour is still an important race for the Japanese brands. To add, there have been riders killed at Brands Hatch, Indy, and Misano in the last few years but the WSBK/WSS and MotoGP still return there. I feel it is time Suzuka was reevaluated. Or even Sugo be given another chance at the world stage as Motegi isn’t as exciting as the others.

  • Ricardo

    I wouldn’t send my family or go myself to a place which just had a catastrophe of a magnitude that big like nothing happened. The government is putting a spin on reality as usual. And we now how untrustworthy government is regardless of country or party. Sorry for bringing politics here.

    Anyways….Go Lorenzo!

  • kylewest

    i’d say bring it to suzuka.
    then lets get hockenhiem back in order!!!

  • 2ndclass


    Kato’s crash may have been rider error, but a track at which a rider can hit a wall with the speed at which he did after coming off is just not safe, particularly given the increase in speed of MotoGP bikes in the 8 years since his passing. Comparing Kato’s passing to accidents where riders have been killed after being struck by other bikes is disingenuous.

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  • Westward

    +1 to 2ndclass

    Yes, the Kato incident was pilot error, but it is one that could happen again, that would almost assuredly result in the same out come… However, the same cannot be said for the Jones, Tomizawa, and Lenz incidents…

    If the circuit at Suzuka still runs near the wall Kato struck, then it is still unsafe…