Toni Elias has accepted the 20 second post-race penalty, which dropped him from eighth to twelfth in Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen, and apologised to Loris Capirossi for taking him off track at the final chicane.

Elias, who began the race from just 15th on the grid, soon became involved in the thrilling seven-way fight for sixth position, which raged for much of the 26 lap grand prix.

The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was still only eleventh with six laps to go, but began muscling his way forwards in typically aggressive fashion. Elias began the last lap in eighth place, behind James Toseland and Mika Kallio.

Elias then overtook Toseland at Turn 10, but was himself overtaken by Capirossi for what became sixth position when Kallio fell towards the end of the lap. With only the last chicane to go, Elias tried to snatch the position back from the Rizla Suzuki rider, but ended up pushing them both off track.

Elias rejoined to claim eighth behind Toseland and Randy de Puniet, while an 'upset' Capirossi crept home in tenth (ninth after the penalty).

"I got past three riders on the last lap and I was just behind Kallio on the last few corners and then he crashed, so I was sixth," recalled Loris. "I thought that would be not too bad, but on the last corner Elias tried to overtake me and put me out and that was it, it was is all over.

"I am upset because I really think if I had got a good start today I would have had a good race and we'd have been competitive, but it's finished now and we have to move on," added the Italian, who dropped from sixth to eleventh on lap one.

Elias, who was 'happy' with his performance, claimed full responsibility for the incident and accepted the penalty imposed.

"There were some really hard riders in that group and it was a lot of fun," he said. "I want to publicly apologise to Capirossi though because I was very late into the last chicane and ran us both off track.

"I feel bad for him but I just had to give it everything I had today. Race Direction have decided to penalise me for it, which I have to accept, but the most important thing about today was the performance and not the result."

Team manager Fausto Gresini found the penalty 'disappointing', but not of major concern given that Elias is only 14th in the championship.

"It is disappointing that Race Direction have decided to penalise Toni because other than his start I thought he had a great race today, but to be honest it doesn't bother us too much because the points are virtually irrelevant at the moment - the important thing is that we make progress and as far as we're concerned we scored a solid eighth place," he said.


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