Ian Lowry has dramatically split from the Padgetts Honda team at the final round of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent.
The Ulster rider was present at the circuit on Thursday, but flew home to Northern Ireland prior to Friday’s opening practice sessions.
Lowry, who claimed his maiden BSB success for Clive Padgett’s team at Thruxton in April, has been replaced by Jason O’Halloran.
Former British Supersport Championship runner-up Lowry is currently joint ninth in the points standing with veteran Chris Walker and was in contention for a place in the Showdown top six before slipping down the order.
It is unclear what prompted Lowry’s departure from the team, although his results have dipped in the second part of the season.
In the previous two rounds, he finished 14th and 17th at Assen and ninth and 13th at Silverstone.
Shane Byrne leads the title charge ahead of the triple-header at Brands Hatch and was second fastest on Friday behind WFR Honda rider Alex Lowes.
Josh Brookes, who is nine points behind Byrne, was fourth fastest while Michael Laverty was seventh on his Samsung Honda.