KTM technical director Harald Bartol has declared that nobody was to blame for the costly collision between 250cc World Championship contender Mika Kallio and team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, which eliminated them both from Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.

KTM and Kallio came into the event under pressure to halt Marco Simoncelli's incredible run of form - which had seen the Gilera rider catch and pass the Finn to hold a 16 point lead heading into Misano.

Kallio had tried a new chassis during practice and qualifying to try and help his cause, but switched back to the standard design for the race.

Kallio was just ninth after the opening lap, but gained ground rapidly and was right behind sixth placed Aoyama on lap four - when Kallio suddenly hit the back of the Japanese at the apex of a right hand turn.

Kallio implied that Aoyama had shut the throttle early, something Aoyama denied and the pair were seen in clear - if polite - disagreement when they discussed the incident in the pits immediately afterwards.

"I had already opened the throttle when Hiro cut the gas in front of me," said Kallio. "We were about six or seven metres apart and it all happened so quickly it wasn't possible to avoid it. I touched his rear tyre, then Hiro crashed, then I hit his bike and crashed as well."

"Mika touched me and we both crashed," commented Aoyama. "I didn't get hurt, so I'm okay, but it is not okay for the team. I am sorry for the team and for the sponsors."

An investigation by Bartol subsequently revealed that Aoyama was substantially slower than Kallio through the corner in question - but had been so all weekend.

"Our data shows that Hiroshi was about five kph slower in that particular corner than Mika in all practice sessions," said Bartol. "When Mika went into that bend in his usual way, he simply misjudged Hiroshi's speed and was caught by surprise. It's very unfortunate for us that this crash happened, but there is nobody to blame - things like that can happen in racing."

Simoncelli also fell during the race, but was able to salvage sixth position and is now 26 points clear of Kallio with five rounds to go.

"Now we've dropped back further in the championship, but we won't give up," declared Kallio, tipped to graduate to MotoGP next season.