Hiroshi Aoyama “surprised’ at Motegi postponement

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Home favourite Hiroshi Aoyama has said he was surprised to learn that this weekend’s Japanese MotoGP race had been postponed for six months.

With hundreds of race personnel unable to make the long trip to the Far East as Europe remains largely a no-fly zone following the eruption of an Icelandic volcano last week, Dorna postponed Sunday’s Twin Ring Motegi race.

The Japanese MotoGP will now be held on October 3 and will be the start of a manic finish to the 2010 world championship campaign, with the last five races now scheduled in just six weeks.

Interwetten Honda rider Aoyama said: “I was very surprised. I think that this is the first time in my life that a Grand Prix has been cancelled with such a short notice.

"I travelled straight from Qatar to Japan and started with my training and promotion work for my home Grand Prix.

"I had a meeting with the mayor of my town and yesterday I spent the whole day promoting the Grand Prix of Motegi in Suzuka. Therefore I was really surprised to hear the decision.”

Aoyama though conceded that the postponement would probably enhance his hopes of success in his home race later in the season.

The reigning 250GP world champion, who finished 10th on his premier class debut in Doha earlier this month, added: “On the one hand I think it is a pity the GP is not taking place.

"On the other hand it gives me more time to adapt to the bike and my new situation as a MotoGP rider and I can come back in October more relaxed, stronger and with a better set up for the bike. That is a good point for me.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt