The Grand Prix of Japan, which was due to be held next month, has been postponed as the country continues to deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which hit the nation last week.

Thousands of people were killed when a tsunami caused by the quake hit the North East coast of the country while thousands more are unaccounted for as rescue teams continue to search for survivors.

Authorities are also battling to avoid a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant - which has already been hit by multiple explosions - with Prime Minister Naoto Kan having described the ongoing crisis as the biggest faced by Japan since the Second World War.

In a move which comes as no surprise, the International Motorcycling Federation has now confirmed that the Japanese GP at Motegi will be postponed, with a spokesperson telling the Press Association that the race will be moved to a date later in the year.

It marks the second year in a row that the race will be moved after the 2010 event was postponed due to travel disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland that grounded aircraft across Europe.

The first round of the 2011 world championship takes place at Qatar next weekend, followed by the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on April 3.

The Japanese round was due to be held just one week before the Portuguese race at Estoril, but - as last season - will probably be moved near to the Australian and Malaysian rounds (both in October).

Confirmation is expected shortly.



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