The event was officially called off at 11.15am by race director Stuart Higgs and has been rescheduled for May 10-11.

"All race day, weekend and grandstand tickets for today's event will be valid for the new date at no extra charge," said Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of MotorSport Vision. "The grids for all of the races within the BSB programme will be as set yesterday, 5th April."

That means that Shane Byrne's pole position will still see him start his local event front the front of the grid, but he was still naturally disappointed at the postponement.

"I am gutted for all the fans who have turned up today, especially the Airwaves and GSE Racing guests. It is mine, Leon [Camier's] and GSE Group's home circuit and we were all excited to have performed so well here in qualifying," said 'Shakey', who was looked forward to his first races for airwaves Ducati.

"My aim was to get out there and win in my first race for the Airwaves Ducati team but unfortunately the Great British weather has turned on us and instead of racing we will be packing up and going home early. I must admit I am looking forward to heading back to sunnier climes but I am excited about Thruxton now we know what we are capable of on the Ducati 1098R," he added.

Cal Crutchlow had qualified second fastest for what should have been his HM Plant Honda race debut.

"This is such a disappointment - we all wanted to race today - but we all understand why the decision has been made and it's for the right reasons," said Cal. "This is the UK, not Spain so the weather can generally be pretty unpredictable, as we saw at the official BSB test at Snetterton. One thing I wanted to mention is the fans - they've been great and to turn out in this sort of number in these conditions is just awesome. So many of them are wearing helmets, so they have turned up on bikes too - they're a lot braver than I am! We've still been out in the garage signing things for them and I want to thank them all for turning up."

"It's gutting not to race, especially so for the fans as so many have turned up - despite the awful conditions. You've got to applaud them for that!" echoed team-mate and title favourite Leon Haslam, due to start fourth on the grid. "We've got to take some positives from the weekend and we can go away from Brands Hatch knowing that we've made a lot of progress with the new CBR1000RR Fireblade. We now just need to get the event and hopefully the bad weather behind us and look forward to the next event at Thruxton."

Tom Sykes, who had qualified fifth during his first competitive race weekend with Rizla Suzuki, backed the decision to postpone.

"It was a very wise and safe decision to cancel the event today. I think it is a good decision by Race Control. Even if the snow had gone it would still have been too cold to run safely," he explained. "It is a shame as I was very confident for my first race with Rizla Suzuki. We wanted to put on a good show for the fans as there has been a good turn out. I'm happy with the information we gained this weekend, it has been useful and I can't wait to get to Thruxton."

There was at least some form of 'silver lining' to the delay for Leon Camier, who will now have some more time to recover from his testing injuries. "I am feeling a bit sore from my efforts this weekend but I should be fine in time for Thruxton, when I hope to be challenging for the top positions again," he said.

Probably the most surprised rider on Sunday morning was new Rizla signing, Atsushi Watanabe - who had never even seen snow before...

"I'm sorry not to race; this is big surprise for me as I never have race cancelled before," said the BSB rookie. "I had not seen snow until I came to England - now I see it a lot."

Meanwhile, the rescheduling means that Michael Rutter will have little time to rest between participating in the new Brands Hatch round and North West 200 street race.

"We are back here in May for the race and we will be leaving straight from Brands Hatch to go to the North West 200, which starts on Tuesday 13th May. It's a bit tight for time but it will be ok," said the NW200 backed rider.

Thruxton, the new opening round of the 2008 BSB season, takes place on April 18-20.