Troy Bayliss was unable to hide his disappointment at not being able to wrap up the 2008 World Superbike title at Vallelunga after admitting he was either going to win the race, or crash out trying.
After a lacklustre sixth place in the first race, Bayliss needed to score five more points than Troy Corser to ensure the title would go his way on Ducati's home turf. It meant a win would be sufficient.
However, Noriyuki Haga stood in the way of Bayliss and the necessary victory, the two embarking on a stunning tussle, one that will no doubt be added to their list of memorable head-to-heads.
With Corser third, Bayliss needed to pass Haga, but while he led the way on three occasions, he remained second into the final lap. Desperate to make a move on the Japanese rider, Bayliss went into the hairpin, three corners from home, a little too quickly and slid off his Ducati bike.
Unable to get going in time to score any points, Bayliss was frustrated to miss out on securing the title, not least because he now knows second place would have been enough to win following Michel Fabrizio's pass of Corser on the last lap.
"Well of course we were hoping to take the title here today and so of course I'm disappointed,” he said. “It was a great race and I lost, that's about all I can say. I gave it everything I had in the second race and was fighting to pass Haga.
"As I didn't know what was happening behind me, and so had no idea that Michel was about to pass Corser, I'd already decided in the closing stages, with six laps to go, that I was going to try and take Nori and either win or crash because I knew that me finishing second and Corser third wouldn't be enough to take the title and I really wanted to finish the job here today."
Nonetheless, Bayliss remains a comfortable 79 points in charge, with 100 remaining in the two rounds at Magny-Cours and Portimao.
“I got close enough but then riding so close to the limit, it only took one tiny thing, either a little bit too much brake or too much lean, and I went down. It didn't end the way we had hoped but we move on, there are still two rounds to go and I have a good points advantage still."