The third and final World Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Imola has been officially cancelled after poor weather conditions prompted a series of disagreements over whether to get the encounter underway.

Already delayed by more than an hour, with rain set to continue deep into the afternoon in Italy, riders were given the chance to voice their opinion over whether to start but when a consensus couldn’t be sought officials opted to play safe and scrap it altogether.

"Following severe rain on Sunday in Imola, and after lengthy delays, the decision was finally made to cancel WorldSBK Race 2 and WorldSSP 300 races of the Pirelli Italian Round at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. With the heavy rain failing to stop, conditions deteriorated and therefore Race Direction and the Safety Commission took the difficult decision to cancel Sunday’s races in order to guarantee riders’ safety."

With rain threatening for much of the morning, the heavy clouds eventually broke ahead of the final WorldSBK race – which Jonathan Rea was due to lead from pole position – with the ensuing deluge leading to a minimum delay of an hour.

With Imola proving one of the longest, most undulating tracks on the calendar - leading to concerns over collecting puddles and water streams - officials used the time to assess the circuit from the safety car together with the front row riders of Rea, Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista.

However, when the trio failed to agree on a plan of action, the decision was taken to allow all 18 riders onto track to complete two installation laps and contribute to the discussion. With almost the entire field now remonstrating on the grid to debate a mix of opinions - with the exception of a helmet-clad Rea who instead took up his pole position spot in the expectation of getting underway - the lack of consensus would ultimately see officials step in and call time in the interests of safety.

Despite the disappointing outcome to the weekend, officials will likely be relieved the long-anticipated rain came later than many expected with both the Superpole race and the World Supersport race unaffected by the weather.

Even so, this is the second round in succession a race has been canned due to poor conditions after snow forced the Superpole race to be scrapped in Assen three weeks’ ago.

 

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