Noriyuki Haga has apologised to his Swan Yamaha team after seeing the prospect of a top five finish at Knockhill scuppered by a crash.

The Japanese rider was making his debut around the quirky Scottish circuit this weekend, but adapted well to its crests and troughs to qualify on the second row, giving him confidence that he could challenge for a second podium of the season.

As it happens, Haga couldn't maintain the pace of the leaders in the first race and after slipping into the clutches of Tommy Bridewell he would cross the line behind the BMW rider to finish where he started.

Changes to the Yamaha between the races suggested progress, but while Haga was able to cling onto the lead group in the early stages, a tumble at Scotsman would bring an abrupt end to his day.

"In race one I was happy with the result for my first time here, but during the race I wasn't comfortable to run at the pace that we needed to be at the front. We made a mistake with the direction we went with the setting and we wanted to improve in race two.

"The second race I had a better feeling but I still couldn't push as hard as I wanted to and then I lost the front and crashed. We didn't have a lot of time to make big setting changes this weekend but my Swan Yamaha crew worked very hard and I need to thank them and also say sorry for the crash."

Despite the accident - his second in three races -, Haga remains confident that he can crack the crucial top six before the first portion of the season has finished.

"I am ninth in the standings and I will do everything I can to jump to fifth or sixth which we need for the Showdown," Haga, who is just 12 points behind sixth place Bridewell said. "I look forward to Oulton Park and I think we can have another good result there."