Bad weather halts Japanese MotoGP practice
(Reuters) - Japanese Grand Prix organizers drew up contingency plans on Friday after rain and thick fog forced the cancellation of practice for what could be MotoGP's title-decider at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
The Moto2 and Moto3 sessions were also wiped out after medical helicopters on standby for emergencies were unable to fly safely in and out.
Organizers said they were considering dismantling one of the helicopters and transporting it by truck to the circuit, which is on high ground, where it would be reassembled.
The rules say two medical helicopters must be available at the circuit at all times. They are normally stationed five minutes flying time from the looped track.
"We are not prepared to run in these conditions when there is a risk that a seriously injured rider could not be given correct care," MotoGP race director Mike Webb said in a statement.
"The helicopter has been trying to get permission to fly to the circuit since Thursday and has even tried to take off and then been told to land again," he added.
"As soon as permission was granted... we would have given 10 minutes notice to the teams, but the helicopter was never given permission to fly."
The race is the penultimate round of the MotoGP championship, with Honda's Spanish rookie Marc Marquez poised to take the title despite being disqualified from the previous race in Australia.
The 20-year-old has an 18-point lead over reigning champion and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, who rides for Yamaha. Continued...