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Aoyama appreciates MotoGP's Motegi decision
28 September 2011
Hiroshi Aoyama, the only full-time Japanese rider in the MotoGP World Championship, says he appreciates the decision to race at Motegi this weekend
Motegi is just over 110km from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant and some high-profile riders had been campaigning for the event to be cancelled.
However, independent reports indicated only a negligible risk and the race looks set to go ahead with a full attendance of premier-class riders - plus two Honda wild-cards.
“For me it is important to be racing in Japan following the sad events of March and my people have handled this tragedy with great strength and courage," said Aoyama.
"MotoGP has close ties with the Japanese people and for the Grand Prix to go ahead will strengthen this rapport. It hasn't been easy and I understand why but to have everybody coming to Motegi to race is a dream come true.”
Team manager Fausto Gresini added that the right decision had been made:
“It has not been easy for anybody in MotoGP to take the decision to go and race at Motegi, but the Japanese people deserve that we all make maximum effort to make the Grand Prix go ahead following the tragedy of the 11th March.”
The Japanese GP was postponed from April due to the earthquake and tsunami.