Ten Kate Honda have suffered one of their worst ever World Supersport Championship qualifying performances after Kenan Sofuoglu and Andrew Pitt could only manage 14th and 24th on the grid at Brno respectively.
The lack of pace from Sofuoglu comes as a surprise just over a week on from when he came away from mid-season testing at Imola quickest, while the Turk was also well placed through the free practice sessions prior to qualifying.
Despite this, Sofuoglu posted a lap time slower than what he managed during practice to slide down the timesheets and be classified as only the sixth best placed Honda rider.
“It's really disappointing to be where we are after last week in Imola. I was actually slower today than yesterday and this morning! We made a very big change in gearing for this afternoon – probably the biggest single change that I can remember – but it wasn't enough for today. The potential is there though, so I will stay with this tomorrow and look at all the data with the guys later to try and find some improvement in warm-up.”
Reigning champion Pitt, who will officially lose his crown this weekend if he doesn't finish ahead of Cal Crutchlow, fared even worse, struggling with set-up woes to line up 24th out of 29 riders.
“I don't really know what to say, but it's been a very difficult day. The big change we made this afternoon didn't really work and we just didn't have time to try little changes to find an improvement.
“I went out on the number two bike but it wasn't running so well and was also backing into the turns. About the only positive thing I can say is that my practice starts are as good as they've ever been, which is a bonus because we're going to need a big one tomorrow.”