Race two in Qatar, the final round of the 2018 World Superbike Championship, was cancelled on Saturday night after heavy rain left the Losail circuit in an unsafe condition. Losail had been battered with torrential storms and strong winds and with damp patches throughout the lap, race direction decided to cancel the final race of the season.
The day’s programme was already delayed with the extreme weather conditions causing damage to the circuit, including the podium stage, while a number of trackside cameras were also damaged, forcing WorldSBK to provide a limited broadcast with “less TV resources than usual”. The warm-up sessions for World Supersport and World Superbikes both went ahead, although the races were subject to a further delay.
With the championship on the line, the WorldSSP race went ahead over 12 laps with wet patches at turn four, turn 15 and on the main straight causing havoc in a nail-biting race. In the end, Lucas Mahias took victory ahead of Sandro Cortese whose second place was enough to clinch the championship while Jules Cluzel missed out after falling twice on the last lap, including a highside on a wet section.
Initially, a start time was published for WorldSBK race two but the riders, the safety commission and race direction had seen enough, and cancelled the final race. As a result, Jonathan Rea missed the chance to break Doug Polen’s record for most wins in a single season, as well as his own points record, while Chaz Davies clinched the runner-up spot for the third time in four years.