Former world Grand Prix champion Wayne Gardner is still being held in custody after 12 days, officials have said, after being accused of assaulting three men during a road rage incident in Japan.
The 57-year-old is being held in a police cell in the town of Shimotsuke, about 120 kilometres north of Tokyo, where he has reportedly been questioned almost every day by police about the incident.
Police officials say the reason he is being held is because he is “continuing to deny the charges”, but his son, Remy Gardner, who is also a professional motorcyclist, said that he believes his father is being held because he is a famous personality.
Japanese police have denied this, saying that he is being held due to the serious nature of the charges against him, and that exceptions will not be made.
Last week, as Wayne and his son Remy were arriving at the Motegi Twin Ring racetrack for a race, they were involved in a minor collision with another car.
It is alleged an argument ensued and Wayne grabbed three of the occupants of the other vehicle by their collars and pushed them.
But so far, Wayne has only been accused by authorities, not officially charged.
In Japan, a suspect can be held for up to 23 days without being charged.
If police choose to hold him for that amount of time, he will be in the cell until November 7.