IRTA moves to reassure MotoGP as Motegi radiation fears linger

MotoGP teams body IRTA says it will continue to monitor radiation levels at Motegi throughout the Japanese Grand Prix to quell any lingering unease about racing in the country

IRTA moves to reassure MotoGP as Motegi radiation fears linger

The threat of a boycott of the Japanese GP appeared to have passed this weekend when the leading MotoGP riders all committed to racing at the event - despite some earlier suggesting that they were unwilling to travel to Motegi due to fears about the nuclear power station damaged in March's earthquake and tsunami.

But in a letter seen by AUTOSPORT, IRTA acknowledges that fears over Motegi remain - while reiterating its belief that these concerns are groundless.

"We understand that there are still some team staff and even some riders who are refusing to travel to the Japanese GP," the letter reads.

"This is despite the fact that there are absolutely no warnings from any government or recognised international authority against travelling to Motegi or the surrounding area.

"We remind you that the World Trials Championship was recently held at Motegi and this weekend will see the running of the IndyCar race at the circuit, with full participation from all the American teams.

"Following the independent report commissioned by Dorna, which stated that there was negligible risk in visiting the area, we understand that Ducati commissioned their own report and this came back with the same conclusions."

The organisation has decided to continue monitoring the situation during the Motegi weekend to provide final reassurance to anyone in the world championship paddock who still has concerns.

"To further provide reassurance for those who are still undecided about travelling we have committed to a further programme of tests.

"We have agreed with Ducati that the specialist organisation from Bologna that prepared their study will send technicians to Motegi for the period of the race. They will take relevant measurements and every morning will publish the results from the previous day. This information will be available from the IRTA office and we will also circulate the reports by E-mail.

"We are entirely confident that the results obtained will only confirm all te previous studies, but are taking this action on behalf of our members so that even unfounded rumours can be properly addressed during the event."

The Japanese GP takes place on 2 October, and should see the biggest MotoGP grid of the season as Honda is providing an additional works bike for Shinichi Ito and a second LCR entry for Kousuke Akiyoshi in a gesture of support for the region affected by the natural disaster.

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