HM Plant Honda came into the first of the three 2010 British Superbike Showdown events with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes joint first and second respectively, after Main Season points had been equalised and podium credits added.
Alongside Tommy Hill, the pair were firm title favourites, but a poor weekend at Croft means they have dropped to third and fourth in the standings. Both are over one race win behind Hill with another Suzuki rider, Michael Laverty, ahead of them in second.
Former double champion Kiyonari had been on the back-foot after taking a tumble on his out-lap in the third and final element of the grid deciding “Roll for Pole”.
Although uninjured, he was unable to take any further part, and that left him with a third row starting slot for the opening race while Brookes, who was also struggling, the bumpy nature of the circuit making it difficult to dial his bike in, was back on the fourth row.
They both had uphill struggles with Kiyonari compounding things by making a poor start to the opener, which left him back in 22nd place on the first lap and he could only reach eleventh by the flag. Brookes came through to sixth place.
Race two then saw Kiyonari take an improved fourth place, but Brookes was only eighth.
With five races (two at Silverstone then three at Oulton Park) to go, Kiyonari is 27 points from title leader Hill in third, with Brookes one point behind his Japanese team-mate.
“I am disappointed for sure as I wanted to win and I haven't finished on the podium. I put pressure on myself after qualifying as I had that crash which meant I was on the third row and it isn't always easy to pass around here," said Kiyonari.
"We didn't make many changes between the races, just minor adjustments but we have made progress from practice to the race it is just disappointing it wasn't enough. I think that maybe I was tense for the first race and made some mistakes, but the second one was better and I had to fight hard for the positions.
"I am not worried about Silverstone as I think now that we can go back and aim for wins as we need them for the championship with only five races remaining," he added.
For Brookes the weekend had been a struggle from start to finish.