WorldSBK Mandalika Race 1 postponed as rain lashes circuit

A tropical storm washes over the Mandalika Circuit, bringing with it torrential rain that forces a postponement for the first of three WorldSBK race

Scott Redding - Mandalika Circuit

The first WorldSBK race at the Mandalika Circuit has been postponed after torrential rain storm descended on the coastal venue to run the risk of a cancellation altogether.

Riders had been planning to head out onto the grid at 15.00 local time (07.00 GMT) but were met with heavy, persistent rain that initially forced a delay that would be extended to a decision being made at 16.00 local time.

For now, it is still within that hour window and while the deluge from the storm would make it appear unlikely racing would go ahead, conditions such as these aren’t uncommon in the region, while the hot conditions otherwise mean the circuit would dry quickly were it to stop.

Even so, this delay adds another nervy dimension onto an already tense 2021 WorldSBK finale, which will see the title decided this weekend between Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea.

As it stands, Yamaha’s Razgatlioglu holds the advantage over Kawasaki’s Rea by 30 points and would wrap up the title in this race if he won and the six-time WorldSBK champion failed to make it onto the podium.

He starts from pole position and has been comfortably the quicker of the two in dry conditions, but should the race get underway in the wet still then Rea will have more reason to be confident.

Indeed, wet weather racing has been a weakness within of Razgatlioglu’s armoury in previous years, though he has shown a step forward in 2021, leading in the damp of the Catalunya round before his Yamaha R1 expired. However, he could only manage sixth in Portimao when Rea crashed out of the lead of the Superpole Race.

Riders that won’t mind a bit of water beneath their bike will be the likes of Michael van der Mark - a winner in that Superpole Race for BMW - Axel Bassani, who got onto the Catalunya podium, and Scott Redding, who won that race from down the order.