Michael Rutter and the Worx Crescent Suzuki team came to the Snetterton round of the British Superbike Championship looking for podium finishes. However a crash and a mechanical problem mean the weekend's efforts have provided only a 7th and a DNF.
After having ridden so well in practice, making second fastest time, it's a disappointing conclusion to the weekend. A one-off technical glitch, then rain washing out the balance of the Saturday's qualifying session, left Rutter on the fourth row for today's races. And the bad luck didn't end there.
In race one today Rutter crashed early on while trying to force his way through the field. A rare stroke of good fortune saw the race stopped (on account of a separate incident) and Rutter was able to restart on his second bike. He made good in the rerun, riding well to make up 13 places to finish 7th, barely 6.5-seconds behind the race winner, Leon Camier.
In the second race Rutter pushed hard from the start and had made it to well inside the top-10 when on lap four, as he entered the Bomb Hole, the GSX-R's engine lost power bringing a premature end to the weekend's efforts.
Michael Rutter: "I'm gutted. The bike is clearly capable of podiums, and wins, so to leave with what we have is a major disappointment.
"It was my own fault - the crash in the first race - I was simply having to push so hard to come through and I lost the front coming into Sears. I'm fortunate we got the restart and I'm reasonably happy to have made 7th.
"After that I was very happy with the slightly revised set-up for the second race and was very comfortable pushing hard through those early laps, so to DNF on the fourth lap is frustrating.
"I'm sorry for the team. They're a great bunch of guys and have really made me feel at home these two last rounds. They deserved at least one podium as a reward this weekend and I just wish I could have given them that."
Jack Valentine, team manager: "This has been a weekend to forget. We're going back to the workshop, find out what went wrong with the bike in that second race, and regroup ready for Knockhill.
"Michael put in a good performance in that first race and was looking stronger still in the second so to come away with an incomplete picture is a cruel end. Michael has again ridden well and he's capable of front row qualifying and podium finishes - what's happened isn't his fault.
"What we'll do now as regards rider selection for the next round, at Knockhill, it's too early to say. Like I've said, Michael's ridden really well and it's fair to say his results haven't fully reflected what he's put in - so he most certainly remains a strong contender."
Race one result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +1.577s
3. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.575s
4. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +2.450s
5. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +3.028s
6. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +6.309s
7. Michael Rutter (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +6.628s
8. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +6.721s
9. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 10.415s
10. Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +11.074s
Race two result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +3.050s
3. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +7.827s
4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +11.135s
5. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +15.972s
6. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +16.639s
7. Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +16.655s
8. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +16.729s
9. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +19.145s
10. Jason O'Halloran (SMT Honda) +21.505s
Championship standings after five rounds:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 217
2. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) 162
3. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) 140
4. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) 103
5. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) 87
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 77