While the world holds its breath and watches Japan contend with the aftermath from an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown, MotoGP has decided to give the island nation less things to worry about, rescheduling the Japanese GP that was to be held at the Twin Rings circuit in Motegi, Japan on April 24th, to later in the year on October 2nd.
While Dorna publicly announced yesterday that it would abide by whatever decision Japan would make in regards to hosting MotoGP in April, the reality is that the area surround Motegi that typical hosts the teams was ravaged by the earthquake. Reports also indicate that the Twin Rings circuit has actually been damaged from the natural disaster, further solidifying the decision to postpone the race.
This new time slot puts the Japanese GP at the beginning of a three race “fly-away” schedule, which will see teams first fly to Japan, then two weeks later to Phillip Island, and then the next week finally to Sepang before returning back to Europe to finish the season. This schedule gives teams a little bit more breathing room on traveling than last year’s calendar, which also saw the Motegi round rescheduled because of the Icelandic volcano eruption.
The Japanese GP can seemingly not catch a break, and while some are calling for the round to be cancelled entirely this season, the track organizers are keen to hold the race if for no other reason than as a point of pride. It’s unclear in what state of affairs Japan will be in seven months time, and whether canceling the race would be appropriate. However one thing is for certain, adding a new venue to the 2011 Calendar to replace the Motegi round will prove a difficult task for Dorna, should it have to make such an action.