MotoGP says it will leave the Japanese Grand Prix organizers to decide whether the Motegi race can go ahead in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country last week.
The championship is due to race in Japan on April 24, but the event is in doubt in the wake of the terrible natural disaster that the nation is currently coping with. MotoGP organizing body Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta said MotoGP's thoughts were with everyone in Japan.
"Japan is a very important country to this championship and we are with them during these very painful moments," he said, adding that it was too early to make any decisions regarding the race and that he would accept whatever the Japanese authorities requested.
"No decision will be made until it is seen how events evolve during this week, putting the interests of Japan above what was to be the third round of the season," said Ezpeleta. "I have had the opportunity to speak with those at the Motegi circuit, where fortunately none of those who work there were injured. It remains to be seen how those involved deal with this terrible event.
"For our part, we are there for whatever they need. MotoGP will do what Japan asks us."
Last year's Japanese GP was postponed from April to October following the volcanic ash crisis that hampered the teams' travel from Europe on the original date.
Teams and riders throughout the MotoGP paddock have been expressing their sympathy for those affected by events in Japan, with the factory Honda riders wearing black armbands during the Qatar test, which resumes today.
Japan's only current MotoGP rider Hiroshi Aoyama was an impressive third fastest on the Gresini Honda in last night's test, but said he took little joy from the performance amid the suffering in his homeland.
"My family and friends were OK, but they were really shocked – and me, too," Aoyama said. "I cannot be really happy in this moment."
Sunday pacesetter Dani Pedrosa added: "I'd also like to say I'm very sorry about what happened in Japan. My Japanese mechanics and engineers were explaining the situation there and it's very moving."