Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes saw his MCE British Superbike Championship title hopes suffer huge setback with a brace of non-finishes at Assen.

The Australian rider came off on the opening lap after running into the rear of John Kirkham's machine as Brookes attempted to make up ground after being forced to start from pit lane after missing the exit time.

A miserable weekend was compounded in race two when Brookes eventually had to pull out of the race due to a clutch problem with the YZF-R1.

And Brookes has effectively ruled himself out of the running for the 2014 BSB title.

"The weekend had no positive side at this point. A series of different problems had plagued the team and I from the outset," he said.

"Even when there was some light at the end of the tunnel I was able to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

"My championship has just become very simple. There is no longer a reason to waste energy worrying about the points tally or be strategic in the races to stay out of trouble.

"I'm the same out there as all the non-Title Fighters. Races are now thought of individually and with no championship consideration."

Reflecting on his crash in race one, Brookes said he had nowhere to go after colliding with Kirkham.

"I thought 'I can go round people' and I started to accelerate, until I ran straight in to the back of Kirkham - he just didn't accelerate and I fell off," he said.

"I always seem to make things difficult for myself every year, but it is what it is and I couldn't have done anything different."

Brookes is now 51 points behind Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and has dropped to third place in the standings, 39 points behind Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Team owner Shaun Muir admitted it had been a disastrous weekend for his title hopeful.

"What can I say? It has been a complete disaster for Josh. Race one couldn't have gone any worse - missing the pit lane exit and then a crash," he said.

"It goes without saying that was a huge disappointment for all of us. In race two it was a clutch problem that forced him out of the race and that left him scoring no points at the most important part of the season."


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