Race 2 of the last round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship at Losail (Qatar) was cancelled due to bad weather, which resulted in heavy albeit unusual thunderstorms all across the surrounding desert. Track conditions, with a mostly dry tarmac but a few corners crossed by streams of water, prompted Race Direction to cancel the race in accord with the riders. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team thus claimed second place in the Riders Championship with Chaz Davies, who took two wins and 12 podiums overall this season for a total of 356 points. Marco Melandri finished the season in fifth position with two wins and ten podiums, with 297 points to his tally.
The Qatari round also marked the last race of the Panigale R, which in WorldSBK has collected 107 podiums overall and 28 wins in six years. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Aragon (Spain) on November 14-15 for Chaz Davies' first test with the Panigale V4 and it will continue the development program in full swing with also Alvaro Bautista at Jerez (Spain) on November 26-27.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)
"Safety must come first, even though it's a bit anticlimactic and I'm sorry for the fans here at the track and at home, but to cancel the race was the right decision today. We sealed P2 in the championship, I'm very happy about that, and most of all I'm really excited about a new challenge with the V4. I can't wait to ride it in a couple of weeks!"
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)
"It's always a pity when a race is cancelled, but common sense prevailed. Unfortunately, despite a similar issue with MotoGP in the past, the draining system probably hasn't been upgraded properly, but one must also consider it rained really heavily today. It's a shame because I didn't want to finish my career like this, but to ride in these conditions wouldn't have made sense."
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"We didn't expect this kind of ending, but safety is the priority, and rightly so. Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for Ducati. We're ready to restart and excited for a new challenge with the Panigale V4."