Next weekend's Motegi MotoGP race is to be postponed due to the air travel crisis in Europe preventing team personnel and equipment from reaching Japan.
AUTOSPORT reports that MotoGP organizer Dorna will announce on Monday that the Japanese Grand Prix will be rescheduled for Oct. 1-3, just before the Malaysian and Australian GPs.
The volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajoekull in Iceland has closed airspace across much of Europe, leading to huge problems for teams trying to travel around the world for motorsport events.
Although it is not yet clear whether the air travel situation will improve by mid-week, MotoGP teams were keen to get an early decision before trying to fly equipment out from their European bases. Honda's equipment has yet to leave the HRC base in Spain.
Another factor Dorna had to consider was that the Spanish GP at Jerez takes place just a week after the originally scheduled Motegi date. With the Jerez event seeing the highest attendance of any round on the championship calendar, the MotoGP fraternity was keen to avoid any possibility of problems traveling back to Europe from Japan in time for the Spanish race.
The Motegi postponement is a boost for championship leader Valentino Rossi, who had a motocross accident while training earlier this week. Although the Italian escaped with only bruising, he is likely to welcome having a further week to fully recover before the next race.