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GP Week : Issue 119
Radiation scare goes nuclear Moto GP news >> JORGE Lorenzo is leading calls to cancel the Japanese GP, postponed until October 2, over fears of nuclear contamination at the Motegi circuit. The World Champion held his ground in spite of opposition from Dorna and IRTA, citing the support of “99 percent of the riders” for his fears. Rossi also expressed fears, as did almost all the other riders asked. But this was in the face of scientific evidence that radiation levels at Motegi –more than 100km from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant – are quite normal, and no threat. “I don’t believe governments,” he said. “Not just the Japanese government, any government.” Nor was he receptive to a suggestion that if the reassurance of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission was not enough the riders could appoint an independent scientist of their own to report on the situation. The problem, he explained, was that nobody could really assess the real dangers. He also cited a documentary he had just seen on Spanish TV, about the Chernobyl disaster. “If the race goes ahead I am not sure if I will go,” he said. “I will try to get some information on what will happen if I do not go.” The Fukushima plant was damaged in the earthquake in May this year, and it was later admitted that one of the reactors had melted down. There is still an exclusion zone around the plant, with work still in progress to contain the problem and neutralise the danger. Rossi, like many of his peers, shared the fear, but said: “I think it would be clever to take some independent advice. We have been told by Dorna that the race is 99-percent certain to go ahead, but I think we should wait two or three months before we decide for sure.” Nicky Hayden explained the anomaly, whereby riders in a high-risk profession appear to be so ultra-cautious. “ Those are dangers that we choose, and are under our control. The problem with radiation is that nobody really knows about it.” Edwards misses first race since 2003 Armed guard for Bad-boy Simoncelli 15