Yamaha breaks silence on Japanese Grand Prix

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Yamaha has finally broken its silence on the re-scheduled Japanese Grand Prix, and senior management have confirmed they expect Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies to attend the Twin Ring Motegi race on October 2.

Honda, Ducati and Suzuki have all previously stated that if the race was given the go ahead, they all expected their contracted riders to compete.

Yamaha had delayed on declaring its official position until the findings of an independent report commissioned by Dorna into the potential risk of radiation contamination in and around the Twin Ring Motegi were published.

Ever since a devastating earthquake struck Japan in March, numerous members of the paddock have been gripped by fear of attending the Motegi race because of the damage suffered to the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Reigning world champion Lorenzo has been one of the most outspoken opponents of racing in Japan, with his stance backed up by former factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.

But Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN he expects Lorenzo and Spies to honour their contracts and race in Japan.

Yamaha's satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team confirmed in Brno earlier this month that unless there is a change in circumstances, Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow will race at the Twin Ring Motegi.

And Jarvis told MCN: "After the publication of the report and the confirmation then from the FIM and Dorna that the race will be held, Yamaha’s position is we will go to the race. We expect both of our riders to be there and we also expect that Tech 3 will have their riders there, which was confirmed in Brno. We are expecting both of our riders will be in attendance."

Jarvis said the penalties for breach of contract if Lorenzo or Spies failed to attend had not been discussed and he added: "We haven’t really discussed it with because we expect them to attend. Of course each rider has an obligation to attend all the races that are held. There maybe circumstances in which they can’t attend like an injury or illness. But if there is none of those we don’t see any reason why a rider would not attend the race. If either one of them won’t attend then we will field a replacement rider, so our intention is to be at the Motegi Grand Prix with two riders."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt