Japanese MotoGP confirms October date

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The Japanese MotoGP race, scheduled to take place this Sunday (April 25) has been postponed until October 3 because of on-going European travel chaos caused by an Icelandic volcano.

As was first revealed by MCN last weekend, the Twin Ring Motegi race, which was due to be the second of 18 races on the 2010 MotoGP calendar, will now run in early October 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.

A short statement released by Dorna and the FIM this morning said: ‘The recent volcano eruption in Iceland has resulted in an ash cloud cover infiltration.

‘Air traffic space over Europe has stopped all international travel in and out of Europe. This case of ‘force majeure’ has obliged the Grand Prix Permanent Bureau composed of the FIM President Vito Ippolito and Dorna C.E.O.’

‘Carmelo Ezpeleta, with the agreement of the Grand Prix Promoter, Mobilityland Corporation, to postpone the Grand Prix of Japan planned on 25 April 2010.

‘The Grand Prix Permanent Bureau proposed equally to the FIM to reschedule the Grand Prix of Japan on 3 October 2010.’

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.

The next challenge is to ensure all the freight, which was despatched straight to Tokyo from Doha after the first race in Qatar, can be returned in time for the Jerez race.

Teams are due to set-up in Jerez on April 28.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt