Casey Stoner is now willing to consider the idea of competing at the Japanese Grand Prix, having previously said that racing at the Motegi event was out of the question.
The 2007 MotoGP champion insisted after the British Grand Prix that he would not travel to the Japanese race in October over fears about the radiation levels in that area, following a leak at a nuclear facility only 100 miles from the circuit in March. He revealed during the build-up to the Czech Grand Prix, however, that he is now considering racing in Japan and that it was only finding out that he is to become a father that initiated such a strong reaction in the first place.
"There was a period after Silverstone where I felt very strongly that I wasn't going to go," the Honda rider said. "But that came from a very strong emotion when we found out that [his wife] Adriana was pregnant.
"For me to make that decision, I thought it was the best thing I could do at the time – to make my mind up. There was no way I was going to risk my wife or my family. In these past weeks I've taken a lot of data from Australia from people we feel we can trust on the matter. And I'm now slightly more open to it than I was before. I'm not saying I'm going, but I'm not saying I'm not either. In the next few weeks we'll continue talking."
Jorge Lorenzo had been the only other rider to insist along with Stoner that he would not race in Japan, but the Australian's title rival has also relaxed his stance on the matter.
"With my manager, we will take a decision in some weeks, maybe months," he said. "Maybe one month and a half. September."
A meeting will take place on Friday at Brno between riders and the MotoGP technical commission to review the results of an independent survey commissioned by the sport's promoter Dorna to gauge safety levels at Motegi. The report found that radiation levels were "negligible," leading to governing body the FIM to announce that the rescheduled race would go ahead on Oct. 2, as planned.
Both Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista said that the discussions in the meeting will have a bearing on their decisions to race or not.
"For sure tomorrow we speak to [Dorna chief] Carmelo [Ezpeleta] and the guys in the technical commission and they say it's OK [to travel]," Rossi said. "We have to wait a little bit about the decision, because it's not just about riders. I don't decide yet. I think it's better to wait and decide in the next weeks."