Factory Ducati riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden suffered almost identical accidents, at the same corner, during Saturday's qualifying session for the British MotoGP at Silverstone.

Rossi's fall occurred after just 15 minutes, when the Italian lost the front of his GP12 under heavy braking for the final chicane.

The seven time MotoGP champion was sent sliding down the asphalt (see below for more pictures) while his bike suffered substantial damage when it dug into the soft grass and barrel-rolled to a halt.

"Shortly after qualifying started, I crashed when approaching the last chicane, a tricky part of the track where you brake hard and where there's a small crest and a depression," he said.

"The bike unweights there and you can lose the front. We struggle there because we don't have much grip on the front, so tomorrow we'll have to be particularly careful."

Hayden's accident happened while on a potential pole lap with eleven minutes of the hour remaining - and was an almost exact replica of Rossi's tumble.

"I put in a new soft tyre and went out for my first real qualifying run, and most of the lap felt really good. Then coming over that crest in the last section, I lost the front without much warning," said the American.

"I don't really have an excuse. I was in there hot, but it felt good when I first got on the brakes. Crashing is part of motorcycle racing, but I just wish I could have finished that lap.

"It's a bit strange that Valentino and I did the exact same crash, but maybe we can understand something from the data. Considering that I crashed out so early, seventh on the grid isn't too bad, but I definitely feel we were capable of more today."

Rossi, fastest in the wet Friday session, will start tenth.