Makoto Tamada's hopes of making an impression on his return to World Superbike Championship racing ended in disappointment as he struggled to find form on the Castrol Honda.

The Japanese rider, a former race winner at MotoGP level, was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Ruben Xaus, but difficulties adapting to the CBR1000RR left him at the bottom of the timesheets throughout the weekend.

Finishing outside the points in the first race, Tamada was nearly able to crack the top fifteen in the wet second race, only to crash out shortly before the race was stopped.

"It has been quite a difficult weekend to learn the bike and we have had some problems with chatter since Friday. Unfortunately, we still had some problems in the first race today, which stopped me from getting a better result. In race two the conditions were very bad and sometimes it was very hard to see because the rain was so heavy.

"I was riding very carefully and trying very hard not to crash but near the end, the rear just let go and then gripped again - I was not even on the gas - so I'm very sorry for the team. It is a pity because I have enjoyed riding here with the team very much."

Xaus is expected to return to his ride next time out at Imola.

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