Having held ninth for the first 17 laps of Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix, Alex de Angelis suddenly saw his hopes of battling for a top eight finish put in serious jeopardy... by a butterfly!
The insect became trapped inside his helmet five laps from the end and the San Marinese was quickly overtaken by both Mika Kallio and Marco Melandri. However, both riders joined Jorge Lorenzo in crashing out of the race, lifting de Angelis to eighth at the chequered flag.
“I set a target of a top eight today so I am satisfied to achieve that but it could have been so much better. I was comfortable running with Edwards, Hayden and the others until I suddenly got a butterfly trapped in my helmet,” confirmed the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider.
“It was flapping around in front of my eyes and I couldn't see a thing! When it finally settled down I was able to focus again but my chance had gone,” he explained.
“Alex didn't do badly today it was just a shame about the butterfly,” commented team manager Fausto Gresini.
de Angelis, like team-mate Toni Elias, is looking for a 2010 ride after Gresini confirmed at Brno that Marco Melandri will join Marco Simoncelli at the team next season.
Elias finished third at Brno.