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Yamaha commits to competing at Motegi

Motegi's proximity to the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has prompted many riders to consider skipping the Japanese event.
Yamaha has confirmed it will compete in the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi in October with a full strength line-up of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.

The manufacturer's commitment had been in doubt due to safety concerns with the Fukushima nuclear plant, approximately 110km away, which was heavily damaged during the earthquake and tsunami that rocked the east coast of Japan in March.

Indeed, with several riders – including title contender Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi - voicing their concerns over the event, which is rescheduled to run on October 2nd and passed as safe by the FIM, there are fears that some won't make the trip.

Nonetheless, with less than a month to go before the event, Yamaha has now become the first factory team to formally commit to its home event, with both Lorenzo and Spies, adding that it will run in the red and white livery that commemorates its 50th WGP anniversary.

A brief statement from the team read:

“Yamaha Factory Racing herewith confirms the attendance of its riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies to compete for round 15 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship at Motegi in Japan on 2nd October.

“The Yamaha Factory Racing team will race in Yamaha's WGP50th Anniversary red and white livery for the 4th time this year at the home GP of team owner Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.”

Related Pictures

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Carmelo Ezpeleta, Wayne Rainey, Spies and Lorenzo, San Marino MotoGP 2011
Wayne Rainey, Spies and Lorenzo, San Marino MotoGP 2011
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Spies passed Lorenzo, Indianapolis MotoGP 2011
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Mark J - Unregistered

September 12, 2011 11:41 AM

Good to see the right move by the riders and team in going to Japan. First of all if you read articles and take travel advice from local goverments no one is saying there is any risk in going to Motegi. The radiation levels are no worse than if you took an international long haul flight. Which is what most of them do for half the season. Secondly Japanese companies have kept a sport we all love going almost by themselves for decades. A sign of respect and an act of goodwill is in teams being there and helping the country move on after the troubles at the start of the year. it gives the fans there who have had a rough time something to be happy about. Last thing Indy Car are going there next month as well and none of them have been complaining about it.

Canadian fan - Unregistered

September 12, 2011 11:38 AM

Can't imangine what it must be like for the millions of people who have to live there who know they have been exposed. I suppose if someone participates in the race and then sometime in the future they develop health issues, they will always wonder if it's because they went to Japan. I can understand there reseverations about going.

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