Torrential rain cancels practice at Japan Moto Grand Prix
Repsol Honda team rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain gives his autograph to a fan at the paddock, ahead of the Japanese MotoGP Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, on October 26, 2013
Bad weather has kept riders and engineers off the Motegi circuit since Friday with three practice sessions cancelled -- two on Friday and one on Saturday morning.
The track north of Tokyo also felt tremors from a powerful undersea earthquake off the northeast coast in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Under the new schedule MotoGP riders will start their qualifying sessions from 1:50 pm local time (0450 GMT), according to organisers.
Moto3 and Moto2 riders will hold their qualifying sessions before and after the MotoGP class, they said.
All riders will have free practice Sunday morning, when sunshine is forecast, before the final races are set to take place as originally scheduled.
Ducati rider Nicky Hayden summed up the riders' frustrations on Twitter.
He tweeted: "Pretty big earthquake last night, tsunami warnings & typhoon. Japan is not a great spot at the moment but weather should be getting better."
Saturday's quake -- in the same area devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami -- triggered a small tsunami in the northeast, with no reports of injuries, deaths or serious damage.
MotoGP organisers said in a statement the disruption to practice sessions could not be avoided.
Dense fog on Friday prevented medical helicopters from flying to the mountainous Motegi circuit, halting all racing.
A helicopter arrived Saturday morning, but a typhoon passed near eastern Japan and brought heavy rain to the circuit and sidelined riders.
"Unfortunately, we are faced with further delays due to track conditions and climactic conditions affecting the helicopter landing sites at the designated hospitals," the statement said.
Rain was expected to stop on Saturday afternoon.
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