There will be no back-to-back World Supersport title winner in 2009 after Andrew Pitt was unable to score enough points at Brno to keep himself in the hunt for this year's championship.
Pitt needed to finish to finish ninth or higher in the Czech Republic, as well as hope that Cal Crutchlow didn't finish, in order for him to keep his dreams alive for one more round. However, while his Yamaha rival did indeed drop into retirement, the Australian crossed the line in tenth.
With a gap of 100 points now separating them, and 100 still available, even if Pitt wins the next four races and Crutchlow fails to score, count-back on the number of third places they have achieved (both have two second place finishes to their name) would swing in the Briton's favour.
Still, having battled his way up from 24th on the grid, Pitt was fairly satisfied with his finish, even if he found it ironic to be battling his former bike that his currently being ridden by Barry Veneman.
“Considering where I started on the grid, I suppose that picking up some points was about all we could have hoped for. But we're here to do more than collect a few points. I struggled for power and ended up in a bit of a battle with Barry Veneman who is riding my bike from last year.
“Hopefully, the extended break will give the guys a chance to look at everything in the calm atmosphere of the workshop and we'll aim to come out fighting again at Nurburgring in September.”
Kenan Sofuoglu, meanwhile, is coming under pressure for third in the standings after finishing down in ninth at Brno, the Turk just six points up on Joan Lascorz now.
“It was very disappointing to finish in ninth because we all felt that we had made a big step forward after qualifying badly yesterday. We continued with the direction we found for warm-up this morning and everything felt fine. But then, in the race, with the same bike, same tyres, same everything, it felt like a different machine.
“I had grip issues from about lap four and the engine felt different, too. We have some more work to do before the next round in Germany.”