A huge storm, and the threat of more bad weather, has forced Dorna to delay action on the final day of the WorldSBK season in Qatar. Torrential rain has flooded the track, and garages, and strong winds have caused damage around the circuit, including to the podium area. Various videos and photos posted on social media showed the severity of the storm.
For the moment, all action has been postponed, awaiting inspections of the track and the floodlights. Initially, racing had been canceled, but the organizers revised the decision and will look at various options to ensure that racing does happen. Although the WorldSBK title is settled, the WorldSSP title is still wide open, with just 5 points separating Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel.
There are a number of options for the organizers. They can either wait and hope the weather will clear, and run the races under the floodlights, or they can postpone the racing until Sunday. Both those options would cause a problem for the teams, many of whom are booked onto flights back to Europe tonight. That would also involve considerable cost, and an argument over who would bear it. Alternatively, Dorna could call off the final day of action altogether.
A decision had been expected at 4pm local time (3pm CET), but so far, no updates have been forthcoming.
WorldSBK announced the following, updated schedule. All times local time:
WorldSSP at 16.45 (15 minutes WUP)
WorldSBK at 17.10 (15 minutes WUP)
WorldSSP at 18.15 (Race-15 Laps)
WorldSBK at 19.45 (Race-17 laps)
(GMT+3) Local Time