Mika Kallio was holding a potential MotoGP best of sixth in the early stages of Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, before losing the front of his Pramac Ducati through the long final turn on lap six of 28.
"I am very disappointed,” said the Finn, who recently re-signed with Pramac for 2010. “I was doing a really good race and all of a sudden I found my bottom on the ground.
“I wasn't pushing too much, in that part of the track you don't accelerate or brake, but you maintain the rhythm to later accelerate while exiting the turn going to the final straight.
“The front gave up on me and I slipped to the dirt on the side of the track. I am very sorry for the all team: they deserve to obtain a good result and I hope to give it to them in these last three races,” added Kallio, who also crashed from sixth at the Dutch TT.
Kallio was returning to the satellite team after three races at Ducati Marlboro, where he claimed a MotoGP best of seventh.
Team-mate and fellow rookie Niccolo Canepa, rumoured to be replaced by super-sub Aleix Espargaro next season, did make it to the chequered flag, although 13th was far less than he had hoped for.
"I expected much more today,” confirmed the Italian. “I made a mistake at the beginning and I couldn't stay with the fastest riders. I felt really good on the bike during the warm-up and in the race I thought I could have stayed in the top ten. I pushed to the maximum but I couldn't do more than this. A pity then I later lost the battle with Melandri by 0.023 at the finish line. I tried to overtake him many times but it was really difficult."