It has been a rough start for the MotoGP paddock at Mandalika. The day started with rain, and conditions have been difficult throughout, even when the track dried out. There has been no on track action since WorldSBK left in November, and track has acquired a thin layer of mud, causing the session to be red-flagged for a while for the surface to be cleaned.
The WorldSBK championship is to look a little different in 2022. Though the length will stay the same as in 2021 - 13 rounds - the order is to be reshuffled a little, with the intriguing prospect of a possible race at Istanbul Park in Turkey during the season.
The season kicks off later than usual, with Phillip Island likely to be moved to the end of the year, possibly as the season finale held after the Indonesian round at Mandalika Circuit. Racing starts at the Motorland Aragon circuit, before heading north to Assen for the Dutch round of WorldSBK, which returns to its more normal date. After a four-week break, the series reconvences in Portugal for a race at Estoril.
The WorldSBK calendar heads east to Italy after that, for a race at Misano in June, before having a month off between the UK round at Donington Park. Two weeks later, the series travels to the Czech Republic to visit Most for the second time.
Final WorldSBK championship standings after the last race of the season at Mandalika:
Final World Supersport championship standings after the second race at Mandalika:
WorldSBK standings after the first race at Mandalika:
Standings after the first World Supersport race at Mandalia:
Much like yesterday, the rain hit the island hard. After delay after delay, the track was checked at 15:30 and the decision was pushed back until 16:00 local time. Astonishingly, after discussions with key riders, a decision was made to go racing, with a quick start twelve lap race in the rain.
The last World Supersport race of the year wasn't immediately threatened by rain and would be nineteen laps to end the season. The track was a toasty 38ºC, much warmer than in the Superbike race this morning.
After a few minutes of delay for rain in sectors 1 and 4, World Superbike race one finally started their sighting lap, twenty hours after intended, with Toprak Razgatlioglu nearly coming a cropper into turn one. As they returned to the grid, they were met by their teams instead of the lights, and they lined up to wait for the weather again. The race distance was dropped from twenty one to twenty laps and they were given five minutes to change their tyres.
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea both lined up on slick tyres. The track temperature was down at 35ºC.
Due to rain flooding the track, race one has been delayed until Sunday. The Superpole race has been cancelled and will be replaced with today's race. With only two races tomorrow, Jonathan Rea has fewer races in which to make up the thirty points he is behind Toprak Razgatlioglu in the 2021 championship.