Suzuka has been ruled out as a possible venue for this year's Japanese Grand Prix by its owner Honda.
The manufacturer's MotoGP chief Shuhei Nakamoto suggested during the Czech Grand Prix weekend that Suzuka, which hosted the Japanese race from 1987-2003, could replace Motegi on a one-off basis this year in a bid to prevent the event being cancelled altogether.
This year's race was plunged into doubt because of a leak at the Fukushima nuclear power station – just 70 miles from Motegi – as a result of March's tsunami and earthquake in the north of Japan. A number of high-profile riders, including Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, vowed not to race at Motegi over fears that radiation levels at the circuit could be dangerously high, although Stoner has since relaxed his position on the matter.
During the build-up to the Indianapolis GP, Nakamoto confirmed that there would be no venue switch this year, due to Suzuka – more than 300 miles from the danger zone – not holding the correct license to stage GP racing.
"To achieve the proper homologation, the FIM would ask for a lot of changes and we cannot do everything," Nakamoto said. "A good example is the hairpin, the run off zone is too close, but there is a road behind so it's impossible to move it any further. Without these kind of issues, Honda could consider Suzuka as an option, but at this moment we are not thinking about it."
"Personally, I like Suzuka, because of the circuit layout, with high speed corners and low speed corners, it's a very good course for riders, a demanding and challenging course. Motegi is a little bit stop and go; overall I like the Suzuka layout more, but this is my personal opinion and has nothing to do with racing there in 2011".
The Japanese GP is scheduled to go ahead on Oct. 2.