Heavy rain delays WorldSBK race [UPDATED]

Heavy downpours force a delay to proceedings ahead of the final WorldSBK race in Imola
Heavy rain delays WorldSBK race [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Race eventually cancelled by officials [Click for more]

Forecast rain has arrived at Imola to disrupt proceedings for the final World Superbike Championship race, with a delay to the start of race two in place and no consensus between disagreeing riders over whether to get underway.

Though the long-anticipated downpours have come later than many predicted on Sunday, with only a smattering of drizzle affecting the earlier World Supersport race, the heavens subsequently opened well in time for the second full-length WorldSBK encounter and have continued into the afternoon.

With the deluge prompting streams of water to run across the track and puddles to quickly form in the lower portions of undulating track, the decision was taking to delay the start – originally scheduled for 14.15 (13.15GMT) - a good 30mins before it was due to get underway.

With front-row sitters Alvaro Bautista, Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies given the chance to evaluate the track in the safety car, the decision was taken to allow all 18 riders to complete installation laps with a view to a 15.15 (14.15GMT) start. However, as riders assembled on the grid to give their view, the mix of opinions would force officials to retreat back to the garages.

With riders being picked up on the TV coverage, the concern is certain corners on the track, rather than spray or grip, but a consensus could not be sought.