Ten Kate Honda's difficult start to the 2009 World Superbike season continued at Valencia, with a best of sixth place prompting team manager Ronald ten Kate to claim there are 'no excuses' for their current performance.

After patchy results at Phillip Island and Losail, the team had high hopes of challenging for victory in Spain following a strong showing last season.

However, while home favourite Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea both reached the final segment of Superpole in qualifying, neither featured at the front of the field in the races.

Checa proved the team's leading representative with sixth position in second race, although an off in the first race when he clipped a white line under braking ensured it was a weekend of mixed feelings.

"Race one was a little bit better than race two, but still not where we want to be," he said. "In the first race, my start was not so good and as I approached the final turn behind Tom Sykes, I hit the white line during braking. There was no grip so I had no alternative but to go into the gravel. I tried to get some data from the tyre, but it wouldn't let me go fast enough to learn anything so I pulled in.

"My start in race two put me in a better position for braking into the first turn, but when the race settled down I found that I couldn't open the throttle with the bike on its side. I was able to make up some places and sometimes racing here at Valencia is enough motivation but it wasn't our day today."

Rea, meanwhile, didn't even reach the end of the opening lap in the first race when he was nudged by a rival at turn four and pushed off the circuit. With no race data to call upon for the second event, Rea gradually dropped down the order to an eventual 13th position.

"I got a pretty good start in race one and had the bike cranked right over coming out of the first right-hander. The next thing I knew I was up in the air, hanging on to the bike but missing the seat when I landed. And that was that.

"We didn't really have any information to change anything for race two but it wasn't great. It's been a tough few days so all I can do is thank my team for all their hard work this weekend and say that we'll re-group for Assen and try to get some decent results for the team's home race."

With grip problems also leaving Ryuichi Kiyonari down in 12th and ninth positions at the end of the day, ten Kate has vowed to find a solution their apparent lack of race pace.

"There are no excuses for these results - we simply haven't performed well enough this weekend and we all know that we must improve things from this moment. Everyone is working hard to find a way forward, but we will arrive at Assen for our home race in less than three weeks and we must achieve the results that the hard work of the team deserves."

Rea remains Ten Kate's leading representative in tenth position overall, with Kiyonari 11th and Checa 12th. However, significantly, Stiggy Racing's Leon Haslam is currently Honda's best rider in fifth - 25 points up on Rea.