Governing body confirms rescheduling of Japanese GP despite riders' refusals

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The Independent Online

The Japanese Grand Prix will go ahead in October despite leading MotoGP riders refusing to go, the sport's governing body announced yesterday.

The International Motorcycling Federation said in a statement that an independent report commissioned to investigate the situation after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March had cleared the way.

The race was originally scheduled for 24 April but was postponed after the Fukushima nuclear plant's cooling systems were crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that led to meltdowns in three reactors.

The MotoGP world champion, Jorge Lorenzo, and the Australian championship leader, Casey Stoner, who ride for Japanese teams Yamaha and Honda respectively, have both said they will not be going to Motegi, where the race is to be held.