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Rossi unlikely to race in Japan

"I really don't think I'll go to Japan" - Valentino Rossi.
Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo may have softened their stance on attending this year's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi - but MotoGP's biggest superstar, Valentino Rossi, now seems to have decided against it.

Rossi, unlike title leaders Stoner and Lorenzo, does not have the added complication of riding for a Japanese manufacturer, or being in world championship contention.

The seven-time MotoGP champion let Stoner and Lorenzo lead public opposition to the event, whilst admitting to concerns of his own over the risk of radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, around 110km from the Motegi circuit.

However, the Ducati star has now gone one step further by appearing to make his final position public.

"I really don't think I'll go to Japan," the BBC quotes Rossi as saying.

"I was hoping the championship organisers would make the right decision, but that hasn't been the case and now we've got a serious problem."

Stoner (Honda) had stated "I will not go" during July's German GP, a viewpoint echoed by Lorenzo (Yamaha).

However a subsequent independent report concluded the Motegi radiation risk was 'negligible' and Stoner has said finding out he was to be a father for the first time had clouded his view.

Both Stoner and Lorenzo now claim they are yet to make a final decision, while the only riders so far certain to attend are Japanese Hiroshi Aoyama (Gresini Honda) and Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow, whose Tech 3 team confirmed its Motegi presence during the Brno weekend.

Despite his objections to Motegi, Rossi has suggested racing at Suzuka, which is further south and last hosted a MotoGP in 2003. However Suzuka might need alterations to meet present MotoGP safety standards.

The rescheduled Japanese MotoGP, postponed from April, is due to take place on October 2.

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Lol - Unregistered

August 16, 2011 9:44 AM

I've been saying all along that it's silly to go. I for one hope he stands up and doesn't go where the rest have caved to pressure and are going. I feel the japan government has been trying to down play how bad this really is since day 1 I simply don't believe they are yet to have this under control. And motorcycle racing is not worth going there for.

Chris - Unregistered

August 16, 2011 9:30 AM

I wouldn't say he's gained any respect but he's certainly not lost any. I know i'd still be reluctant to go as i value my health very much. Being able to stand up and say 'No' to huge corporations and stick with your beliefs is harder to do than say 'Yes'.

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