Jonathan Rea could not hide his disappointment at the end of a tough World Superbike race day at Brno, the Ulsterman scoring just four points to lose potentially critical ground in the title fight.
A successful circuit for him in the past, Rea worked himself into contention during the first race as he negotiated the tricky circuit conditions and found himself as high as second place at the midway stage.
Though Marco Melandri would demote him to third in the closing stages, Rea was still on course for a podium when he attempted to capitalise Sykes running wide at turn 11 on the penultimate lap. However, Sykes returned to his line to find Rea inside of him, the pair making solid contact, enough for the Honda rider to high-side out with just a lap to go.
“We worked hard all weekend and got quite close in race one. The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead. Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position.
Rea's chances in race two, meanwhile, were defined by rear tyre problems that left him struggling for grip, the Ulsterman crossing the line a disappointed 12th.
“It's been a really frustrating weekend because this is one of my favourite circuits and the feeling was not like in previous years – it felt completely different.
“In race two I felt something wrong with the bike from the very start. I just had no grip from the rear, but we'll have to look at the data to confirm that it was just the tyre. I suffered a massive loss of grip on the edge, under acceleration, and tried a lot of different styles to see if anything worked, but it was all I could do to hang on to 12th place.
“The results are not what I want to go racing for and I'm really disappointed about the weekend. The l ast few races I've felt like I'm on a race winning package but this weekend was definitely below average.”
Rea has slipped to fifth in the standings, 23.5 points adrift of third place Sykes.