Conditions were dangerous, Bautista insists

"It was too risky for the riders and it was the right decision to cancel the race..."
Conditions were dangerous, Bautista insists

Alvaro Bautista is adamant Race Direction were correct in cancelling the second World Superbike Championship race at Imola, saying the conditions were ‘dangerous.

A heavy downpour ahead of the third WorldSBK race of the weekend forced race officials to delay proceedings, but with rain forecast throughout the afternoon in Italy the decision to compete on a guaranteed wet track was deferred to the riders’ discretion.

The championship leader was one of three riders consulted initially – together with fellow front row starters Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies – but this was opened out to all 18 competitors after they were permitted to complete exploratory laps.

When riders couldn’t reach a reasonable consensus with Gregorio Lavilla, the decision was taken to scrap the race – the second such weather-related outcome in as many rounds after the snow-affected Assen round.

With Rea – who has closed down the gap on Bautista in the standings this weekend with two wins this weekend - visibly in favour of continuing, the Ducati rider was very much against, a position he continues to maintain.

"Unfortunately, the bad weather affected the second race, and it was raining really hard. The track conditions were dangerous, with a lot of water in some parts and streams crossing the track. It was too risky for the riders and it was the right decision to cancel the race.

On a weekend that saw Bautista defeated on track for the first time this year, he nonetheless called it ‘one of the best weekends’ of his career thanks to the passionate home support from the Ducati fans.

“We feel really bad about that because we know that there are a lot of Superbike fans here, but rider safety is the most important aspect.

“Having the support of all the Ducatisti is incredible and even though I didn’t win a race, it was one of the best weekends in my entire career because I really felt their support. For this reason, I feel a bit sorry for them, but I think they will understand the situation.”