Smrz unable to live up to qualifying hype at Assen

'It has been quite difficult because this is our first weekend and first time on the bike as we had no chance to test - it is a different electronics set-up to what I am used to' - Jakub Smrz
Following a sensational performance in qualifying at Assen, Sunday's MCE British Superbike races at the Dutch venue were something of a disappointment for the Splitlath Redmond Aprilia team.

World Superbike ace Jakub Smrz had raised expectations after putting the RSV4 on the front row in third place after a magnificent effort on Saturday.

However, 'Kuba' suffered an engine failure while holding eighth place on lap 12, forcing the Czech star to retire from race one.

The Splitlath team replaced the engine in time for Smrz to take his place on the grid for race two, when he started from 13th position.

But further misfortune saw Smrz drop to 16th as chatter issues stifled his progress and he eventually crossed the line in 15th place to earn the team's first championship point of the season, albeit in a somewhat fortuitous fashion as the RSV4 suffered another engine failure just at Smrz took the chequered flag.

“It was a difficult weekend for sure,” said Smrz.

“In race one I was struggling a bit with the tyre at the start so I wasn't able to realistically fight for fourth or fifth so I was disappointed, and then we had the failure so there was nothing more we could do.

“In the second I had a good start but because it was a new engine we had no experience with it and didn't have the best set-up so we struggled,” he added.

“I had a lot of chatter and even though I pushed it hard, I couldn't do any more.

“It has been quite difficult because this is our first weekend and first time on the bike as we had no chance to test - it is a different electronics set-up to what I am used to.

“But I've enjoyed my first BSB experience,” said Smrz.

“It's a hard championship and we did well with our fast lap in qualifying so now we just need to build on that.”

His team-mate, Troy Herfoss, retired from race one with a technical issue and finished 17th in the second outing after starting from 23rd place on the grid.

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