Motorcycling: Japan GP delayed over volcano flight chaos

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Next weekend's Japanese MotoGP has been postponed to October 3 because of the severe disruption of international air travel caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, organisers said Monday.

Mobilityland Corporation, the Japanese operator of the venue - the TwinRing Motegi race circuit north of Tokyo - apologised to fans and asked them to attend the competition later in the season.

"Due to the Icelandic volcanic eruption causing flight cancellations by aviation operators, we have decided to postpone the MotoGP scheduled for this weekend," company president Hiroshi Oshima said in a statement.

"Although the situation is beyond our control, we sincerely apologise to fans who have been eagerly waiting for the world's top-level race," he said.

He said the event had been rescheduled to October 3, meaning it would be held after a race in Spain and before an event in Malaysia.

"It will be held half a year from now. We hope that fans will look forward to the added attraction," he said, pointing out that the contest for the champion's title will have heated up toward the end of the season.

A vast cloud of ash spewing from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano since last Wednesday has forced airlines to cancel flights across most of Europe, leaving millions of passengers stranded around the globe.

About 30 countries have closed or restricted their airspace due to passenger safety fears, catching 6.8 million passengers in a global backlog, according to the international airports council.

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