Japanese MotoGP cancelled after volcano disruption

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The Japanese MotoGP race, scheduled to take place at the Twin Ring Motegi next weekend (April 25), has been postponed until early October because of on-going European travel chaos caused by an Icelandic volcano, MCN can reveal.

The Twin Ring Motegi race, which was due to be the second of 18 races on the 2010 MotoGP calendar, will now run on October 3 after crisis talks were held by Dorna management. The race will now be round 14 and run before the Malaysian GP in Sepang on October 10 and the Australian GP at Phillip Island on October 17.

The cancellation means the next round of the MotoGP world championship will be the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 2. 

Most of Europe has been a no-fly zone since Thursday after plumes of ash were blown over five miles into the air after the eruption of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano grounded thousands of flights.

The travel crisis has now hit MotoGP, with hundreds of people from the paddock unable to travel to the Far East.

Most team staff and riders would have left on flights bound for Tokyo today (Sunday), Monday and Tuesday, but there is still no assurance from experts that flights will be able to resume in the next few days.

One of the most seriously affected flight zones has been the UK, with virtually every flight cancelled for the last four days and no end in sight to the chaos that has impacted on millions of travellers.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt