Valentino Rossi (Ducati) has been quoted by the Italian press as stating he may not go to the Motegi round of the MotoGP championship series scheduled for October 2. Rossi stated: “I really don’t think I’ll go to Japan. … I was hoping that the championship organizers would make the right decision, but that hasn’t been the case and now we’ve got a serious problem.”
It doesn’t look like any of the riders will be making their final decision anytime soon. Although Rossi is not in contention for the championship this year, the two contenders, including Casey Stoner (Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who each had previously announced they would not attend the race, now seem to be wavering.
The FIM commissioned a study that concluded attendance at the race would be safe, but the riders haven’t necessarily been convinced, and many outside observers think that the nuclear fallout situation at Motegi is not clear. The affected nuclear reactors are roughly 66 miles from the track, and radiation levels are still extremely high there (some of the highest readings since the accident had been taken in recent weeks).