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Poor weather conditions prevent action on day one in Japan
It's been a frustrating first day at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit as relentless light rain and fog prevented any bikes taking to the track.
The decision was taken by race control to cancel both sessions due to safety concerns as the circuit medical helicopter has been unable to fly and is therefore not available in the event of an emergency, with the nearest hospital an hour away by road.
Hopefully weather will improve tomorrow and sessions will resume as normal. If it's still not possible in the morning, then the afternoon sessions will be extended. If no sessions can take place again tomorrow then race direction will look at a suitable solution, together with the teams, that will include free practice, qualifying and race all taking place on Sunday - again, weather permitting.
"There wasn't much that we could do today due to the weather conditions and therefore we didn't have a medical helicopter and weren't able to ride. The forecast for tomorrow is similar, but let's hope that things improve and we can go on track. If not then we will have to see the proposed schedule for Sunday and how it will work, sure it's not the ideal situation but it's the same for everybody!"
"There's not much to say about today - we were unable to undertake any practice sessions, which meant we were a little bored. We hope to have better luck tomorrow and be able to go out on track!"
Fog Cancels Motegi Practice
Motegi (Japan), 25th October 2013
The MotoGP paddock was quiet today at the Twin Ring circuit in Motegi, with all free practice sessions for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix cancelled due to weather. Heavy fog around the circuit made it impossible for the air ambulance to land or take-off, meaning no sessions could be run in full safety.
Dorna, IRTA and Race Direction will hold further meetings over the next 24hrs to finalise a schedule for the weekend in case of further weather disruption.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
"It was a boring day for everyone but the things were like that. I think it is much better to stay calm and accept the circumstances. Safety is the most important thing in the sport and without the medical helicopter no one can be safe. We will see tomorrow because the forecast is not so positive and if once again the sessions are cancelled we have to wait on a decision from Dorna, IRTA and Race Direction. I hope the race will go ahead because two races is better than just one for us. I spent all the day stretching, relaxing, making some exercises and speaking with the team. I hope tomorrow the meteorological conditions improve and we can ride."
99 Valentino Rossi
"A great pity about today because there was good conditions for riding on the track. It was wet but there was no wind and not too much water so it's a pity that because of the helicopter we cannot ride. It's an important day today because it looks like tomorrow the weather will be worse. Anyway we must wait and in the end it was the right decision for safety so I am in full agreement. It is a shame though that we cannot go on the track."
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
"It was a pity that we couldn't ride today but I think the decision they took was right, the safety of the riders is very important and also the rules state that the helicopter must be here. We respect the decision of the race commission. Hopefully tomorrow will be a different day and we can start a normal Saturday. In case it is not possible to ride in the morning they have already prepared a counter measure and we will follow this. We will try to do everything possible for tomorrow and Sunday."
Bad weather hampers action on day 1 at Motegi
The third and final leg of the last tripleheader of the season began under the sign of bad weather. It was not a typhoon but thick fog that prevented the first day of the 17th and penultimate MotoGP World Championship round hosted at Twin Ring Motegi from running its course, forcing riders and teams to remain in the pits with their engines switched off.
Poor visibility in fact did not allow rescue helicopters to take off, and as the nearest hospital is at least one hour away by road, there were no doubts about cancelling today's practice sessions. About an hour and a half before the scheduled start time of FP1, the Race Direction announced that the session would be cancelled. The same ?fate' also befell the afternoon session, announced at around 3 pm while the rain was increasing in intensity.
After the unusual Australian GP that saw riders compete with the 'flag-to-flag' format, the Japanese GP could also see a series of changes. The schedule is currently expected to remain unchanged with only the elimination of today's practice sessions, and only FP3 will be valid for qualifying. Although if the weather conditions get worse and affect the normal course of the day, several options evaluated during the meeting held between the Race Direction and the teams this afternoon will be implemented, gradually reducing the number of sessions available until the final opportunity of completing the entire program on Sunday remains.
Day 1 cancelled at Motegi
The first two free-practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix were cancelled today due to bad weather conditions, and like the rest of the MotoGP squads, the Ducati Team kept the Desmosedici GP13 race machines of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden parked in the garage.
A steady drizzle fell on Twin Ring Motegi all day, but it was the layer of fog that limited visibility, thus preventing the medical helicopter from accessing the circuit, in accordance with Japanese law. Considering the circuit's relatively remote location, and faced with the possibility of an excessive delay for emergency hospital transport in the case of a serious accident, Race Direction decided in the afternoon to cancel the entire day's track activity.
Officials will monitor the situation tomorrow and make further adjustments to the remainder of the weekend schedule depending on the weather conditions.
Vittoriano Guareschi - Team Manager
"It was a long day for both the riders and us, but unfortunately, we weren't able to ride. It's a shame because we had some things to try, but it was the same for everyone. We'll see what the weather is like tomorrow, and now we'll have to review our whole work program. Only when we wake up tomorrow morning will we know what to do!"