Max Biaggi has admitted he nearly didn't take to the grid for the second World Superbike race at Monza after being given a penalty after race one that dropped him from third to 11th.
The Italian put in a fine performance on the Aprilia during the opening encounter, prevailing in a tight fight with Yukio Kagayama before snatching third on the final corner when Ben Spies ran out of fuel.
However, just before Biaggi was due to take his place on the podium, stewards confirmed he had been given a 20 second penalty for cutting a chicane earlier in the race, demoting him to 11th position.
Although he would come back to finish fifth in race two, Biaggi was furious with the decision, insisting that he deliberately slowed sufficiently to avoid any kind of punishment during or after the race.
"I'm very angry,” he declared. “But I respect who take this decision, even if I not agree with it. I would have understood it if I had taken the lead at that point, but the times clearly show that I was running a half second slower during that lap.
“It was exactly in that same point where last year Smrz ran straight ahead, hit me and broke my pinkie finger and the fifth metacarpal in my left hand, and no one did anything about it. I didn't even want to race in the second heat, but then my good sense took over and I got onto the track anyway, despite all the controversy.
“Race two wasn't going too badly, I had a good rhythm going and was catching up to the second group, but then I made an error and lost ground.”
Even team-mate Shinya Nakano voiced his support for his team-mate following the decision.
"Honestly, I'm amazed at the decision they made about Max. I saw a lot of riders that were with me cut the chicane each time, but no one else was penalised."