V&M Racing's World Supersport challenge came to a premature end at Brands Hatch, as Matt Llewellyn failed to finish the ninth round of the highly competitive world series when his Racing R6 Yamaha developed an ignition problem during the opening stages of the race.

It was a bitter blow for the Manchester-based team, particularly after Llewellyn had performed superbly during the two day qualifying period to put his 600cc Yamaha on the fourth row of the grid in thirteenth place - ahead of many of the regular championship frontrunners.

With just one second covering the top twenty riders during timed qualifying, Llewellyn started the race just behind reigning supersport champion Jorg Teuchert and last year's runner up Paolo Casoli on similar R6 Yamahas. He also knew that a top ten finish and his first world championship points were definitely on the cards.

However, after pushing hard for the opening two laps of the race, the Leicester rider's luck ran out, when his machine started to slow on the fast section of the circuit down towards Hawthorn bend, and he was forced to retire.

"I came out of Surtees and got hard on the gas and the engine just died," he said, "I shifted up through the gears and it was obvious there was something wrong as the engine was really flat, then everyone came flying past. It's a real disappointment, after qualifying I felt I could definitely have finished in the top ten."

Team boss Jack Valentine was philosophical about his team's performance at Brands Hatch.

"It was disappointing for Matt and the team in the race, but the weekend was far from being a complete disaster," he said, "Matt lapped Brands Hatch faster than he has ever done, and we learned a lot of valuable tyre and suspension set up during the weekend that will help us no end in the British championships."

The V&M Racing Team now looks forward to resuming its challenge for the British Supersport 600 championship at Knockhill on 12 August, where Matt Llewellyn is currently lying in second place just sixteen points behind Honda's Kirk McCarthy.