Max Neukirchner has expressed his ongoing frustration at being unable to get a 'good feeling' with his Ten Kate Honda as he enters the latter stages of what has been a dismal 2010 season.
The German rider switched to Ten Kate Honda at the end of an injury interrupted season in 2009, the two-time race winner tipped to shine alongside Jonathan Rea.
However, while Rea has been a front runner on the bike this season, Neukirchner has crept into the top ten just once and is currently languishing a lowly 18th in the overall standings with 40 points.
To put into perspective, Neukirchner managed 75 points in the eight races he completed for Suzuki prior to his leg-breaking accident at Monza.
Identifying his issue solely on an inability to establish a good feeling with the CBR1000RR, while Neukirchner praises the efforts of the Ten Kate team and his 'unbelievable' team-mate, he insists the bike is problematic.
“It's been a really tough and difficult season,” he told Crash.net
. “At the end of last year I was really pleased to have a contract with a factory team as Honda. I know the team is working really well, but I am not getting any feeling with the bike.
“The problem is the same. It's difficult to turn the Honda into the corner. On the brakes it is good, but when you release the brake I always miss the line. It is not possible to get a good exit from the corner.
“It is very frustrating. All the Honda riders have the same problem, it's just Jonathan is the fastest guy on the Honda, where as the others are riding at the same level as me. I don't think it is the rider.
“Jonathan is unbelievably good on that bike. It's like Casey Stoner on the Ducati for me and Jonathan on the Honda!”
Touching on his future with Ten Kate, Neukirchner says he has a two-year contract with the team, but admits a decision will be taken at the upcoming Imola round.
“I am not sure,” he added. “I have a two-year contract, but at Imola they can decide to continue or release me.”