FIM still confident Motegi is safe
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Friday, June 24th 2011, 08:50 GMT|
Motorcycle racing's governing body, the FIM, says it will discuss the radiation situation in Japan next weekend - but sees no reason why the Japanese Grand Prix should be called off.
Many MotoGP riders have expressed reservations about contesting the rescheduled Motegi race on 2 October as they are concerned about the dangers of potential radiation after the nuclear plant crisis that followed March's terrible earthquake and tsunami in the country.
An FIM statement said further talks would be had before a final announcement at Mugello.
"The FIM Board of Directors will assess the situation prevailing in Japan during its meeting in Geneva next week-end. Furthermore, talks will be held next week at the FIM Headquarters with representatives from the Motorcycle Federation of Japan," said the statement.
"In principle, Suzuka and Motegi circuits being situated outside the exclusion and evacuation zones, and based on the information provided by an independent report, a number of agencies including several governments, the World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the 2011 FIM World Championships events in Japan (QTEL FIM Endurance World Championship, SPEA FIM Trial World Championship and FIM World Championship Grand Prix) will be taking place as scheduled.
"A final announcement will be made by the FIM president during the MotoGP in Mugello."
FIM president Vito Ippolito told Motosprint earlier this week that he felt his organisation was doing everything it could to deliver a safe event and hoped the riders would understand this.
"Radiation is beyond our knowledge," he said. "We have postponed the race as far as we could, the furthest off the Fukushima accident. If we don't do the race in October, then when do we do it?
"The FIM has a responsibility towards everyone, we certainly don't want to throw away our credibility, but cancelling the grand prix without a valid reason wouldn't be fair.
"As far as we know from the information we have received, a week in Motegi accumulates the same amount of radioactivity as an x-ray exam.
"Japan wants to have its own grand prix, and I struggle to believe that the manufacturers would want to take their drivers there if there was a health hazard for them.
"I think things can be solved through talks, and I don't think the riders will be stubborn with their position. In front of evident proof of a lack of danger for their health, we won't have any problem."