Mika Kallio and Marco Melandri each felt the other was to blame for their spectacular clash in the closing stages of Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
Kallio, making his debut for the Ducati Marlboro Team in place of Casey Stoner, had enjoyed an impressive weekend prior to the race - outpacing team-mate Nicky Hayden with seventh and eighth in free practice, then equalled his best qualifying of the season with tenth on the grid despite a qualifying fall.
The young Finn had hoped to not only beat his career best eighth place in the race, but also challenge for a top five. Instead, Kallio was tenth for much of the race - three places behind Hayden - which became eighth when he passed Alex de Angelis, just as Jorge Lorenzo crashed out of the lead, with six laps to go.
By then Kallio was coming under pressure from Melandri, Ducati's 2008 rider, who slotted his Hayate under the #36 through the middle of the fast final chicane at the end of the penultimate lap.
But the pair slammed into each other as their lines crossed on the exit of the corner, sending bikes and riders tumbling through the gravel, before a furious Kallio confronted a surprised Melandri.
“Melandri tried to pass me where it was impossible to, so that finally our lines crossed,” said Kallio. “Anyway, it has been an interesting weekend and I think if we can find something that gives me more feel with the front we can make a big step forward.”
“I made a good pass on Kallio and I don't know what happened,” Melandri told the official MotoGP website. “He didn't see me for sure. He just closed the line very quick. He brought me down and he came down with me.
“I thought he came over to say sorry, but actually he was very angry with me. He said I was wrong. Maybe he was very tired and he couldn't think very well,” shrugged Marco.
Kallio has at least two more races as a factory Ducati rider, while Melandri will rejoin Gresini Honda in 2010.