2010 MotoGP rookie Hiroshi Aoyama has confessed his 'surprise' that his home race – scheduled to take place at the Twin Ring Motegi this weekend – has been postponed until much later in the campaign due to the ongoing international travel disruption and cancellation of thousands of freight and passenger flights caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption last week.
World motorcycling's governing body the FIM, MotoGP organiser Dorna and Japanese Grand Prix promoter Mobilityland Corporation have jointly agreed to delay the Japanese event until 3 October, just ahead of the similar 'flyaway' races in Malaysia and Australia [see separate story – click here
], as a result of the ash cloud still hanging over Europe after glacier-volcano Eyjafjallajökull spectacularly blew its top in the middle of last week.
However, Aoyama, who finished inside the top ten on his premier class debut in Qatar earlier this month after making the step-up from 250cc – in which he will go down in history as the final champion in 2009 prior to the class' rebirth as Moto2 – insisted that the news had taken him somewhat aback.
“I was very surprised,” revealed the 28-year-old Interwetten Honda star. “I think this is the first time in my life that a Grand Prix has been cancelled with such 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. 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 and that is a good point for me.”