Practice session of Japanese Grand Prix cancelled due to weather.
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.
“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.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“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.”
Practice cancelled at foggy and wet Twin Ring Motegi
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith experienced a frustrating start to the Japanese Grand Prix today, with both practice sessions cancelled because of adverse weather conditions.
Morning mist rolling in off the hills surrounding the Twin Ring Motegi resulted in low visibility that meant the essential medical helicopter was unable to land at the vast Japanese motorsport arena.
FP1 was cancelled after a lengthy delay and the foggy conditions remained throughout the day. With no sign of conditions improving by early afternoon, FP2 was also cancelled just as heavy rain started to hammer down on the Twin Ring Motegi.
Contingency plans have been put in place for a revised schedule for the remainder of the weekend, subject to weather conditions with further disruption anticipated tomorrow ahead of improved forecasts for race day on Sunday.
“Obviously it is disappointing for the Japanese fans not to see us ride today but the safety of everybody on track has to come first. Nobody could have predicted the circumstances preventing the medical helicopter from flying to the track but it was definitely the right decision to cancel both practice sessions and there’s no doubt Race Direction once again made the best call on safety grounds. Hopefully the weather will improve and we can ride and put on a good show on Sunday.”
“None of us want to be sitting in the box waiting around when there are people coming to watch us ride but it was definitely the right decision to cancel practice. Rider safety is paramount and Race Direction should be applauded once again for ensuring the safety of everybody on track comes before anything else. We need to see what the conditions are like tomorrow but hopefully we can ride. It seems the best conditions will be on Sunday for the race, so all we can do is wait and see how much time the weather will allow us to be on track to prepare in the best possible way."
Yamaha YSP Racing Team
“This is my second time competing in the Japan GP following my entry last year, so I am accustomed to the overall atmosphere of it now. It is unfortunate that the free practice had to be cancelled on this first day due to the bad weather, but with regard to machine development testing, there is no problem there because we know everything we have to do in that process. Since the development test work is part of my job in this wildcard entry, I will be doing everything possible to prepare the machine for the race on Sunday, and then give my all from start to finish. At last year’s Japan GP, I ran a time of 1’46.780 in the official qualifying, so tomorrow I want to try to best that time.”