Phew, common sense has prevailed at last. It was looking a little dodgy for a while, as MotoGP riders, in between riding at 65-degree angles with their elbows inches off tarmac at 150mph, thought they might suddenly grow two heads if they set foot anywhere near the earthquake-stricken Motegi circuit in Japan in a couple of weeks time.

While it would be unnecessarily dismissive to believe all riders’ fears of visiting the motor racing circuit near the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant were unfounded, the fact some did so even after independent observers returned from site visits to give the place the A-OK was a trifle dumb.

Jorge Lorenzo had been leader of the ‘we’re very concerned and might not go’ party, along with Casey Stoner. The fact these two are contesting this year’s world title meant their views have an impact on the rest of the field, so it was a relief that they appear to have done a u-turn on their previously negative outlooks. Even 9-time champ Valentino Rossi, who as late as last month said he might not go, has changed his mind after common sense walked up to him and gave him a light slapping.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the Indycar series just so happened to be racing on the very same piece of tarmac this weekend. Heck, the Indycar drivers themselves even had to put up with an earthquake themselves while in their hotel rooms, but as far as I’m aware, none of them ran forthe hills in an ill-advised panic.

So the nonsense has been put to bed for now, and MotoGP will be heading over there at full strength. The fact radiation levels over there are lower than the actual flight to and from wherever these riders are going should also be food for thought, as well as noting that several riders have worn messages of support for Japan on their overalls this season, so it’d be pretty darned hypocritical for them to shun the country at a time when motorsport can provide a useful welcome distraction from the suffering some Japanese people have gone through this year.