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MotoGP legend remains behind bars in Japan

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Sarah McPhee

Australian motorcycling great Wayne Gardner remains behind bars in Japan, 12 days after being detained for allegedly assaulting three men in a road rage incident.

The 57-year-old was reportedly involved in a minor car accident and scuffle in Motegi on October 16 as he arrived for the Japanese MotoGP in a vehicle driven by his 18-year-old son Remy.

But nearly two weeks later, the 1987 500cc world champion is still being held in a cell at Shimotsuke police station, north of Tokyo.

Remy Gardner, who competes on the Moto2 class world circuit with Tasca Racing Scuderia, was detained as a witness before being released to return home for last weekend's Australian Grand Prix on Phillip Island.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said consular assistance was being provided.

"Due to privacy obligations we are unable to provide further information," she said in a statement to AAP on Thursday.

Under Japanese law, crime suspects can be detained for up to 23 days without charge.

Gardner could therefore be held behind bars until November 7.

His eldest son said Japanese authorities appeared to be taking the situation "very seriously".

"In the end, they found out (who he is) and it looks like they're pushing harder, so it's a bit unfair," Remy Gardner told the Nine Network upon his return to Australia last Thursday.

"We're definitely in a pickle. All of the circumstances that happened were just very unlucky."

The youngster was left feeling "gutted" after he was forced to retire halfway through the Phillip Island race.

"It's been a tough week" he said in a statement, ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

"I don't have much time to feel down, and so I will pick myself up and focus on doing the best I can."

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