Reigning British Superbike Champion Steve Hislop, who lost his ride with Mosntermob Ducati after taking the title, has now been sacked from Rob McElnea's Virgin Yamaha team with whom he signed for his 2003 title defence.

'Hizzy' lost his Monstermob seat after team boss Paul Bird declared that he needed a younger rider with which to attract sponsors and possibly move up with onto the world stage, and would later ink a deal with current series leader Shane Byrne.

However, the Scotsman's latest departure from the Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha team appears to be performance related - the Isle of Man TT ace has struggled to make an impact this season and was outside the top ten in both races at Rockingham on Sunday.

"I've been struggling to get the bike set up all year and the results I wanted were not coming," the BBC report Hislop as saying.

Speculation suggests Hislop's sacking was also to save costs, with rumours pointing towards him being replaced by the more sponsor friendly Sean Emmett, himself sacked by Renegade Ducati just over a week ago, who is thought to bring substantial Red Bull backing.