Kawasaki's Mickael Maschio crashed heavily at the start of the Austria Grand Prix on Sunday, round six of the 125cc World Championship, but the reigning World Champion fought back to salvage 15 points with a remarkable ride through the field to finish in 6th position.

After qualifying third in his heat race n Saturday, Maschio was looking to increase his points total and move up to 3rd position in the rankings...

However, Swiss rider Philippe Dupasquier took away any chance of that as he slammed into the side of Maschio's factory KX125 at turn one - sending Mickael cart wheeling into the path of several riders, and being subsequently run over.

Fortunate to escape injury in the high speed incident, Maschio was further delayed as riders struggled to untangle the pile of fallen machinery.

"It all happened so fast, some one came inside of me and just pushed me right into the path of the riders on my outside," he recalled. "I had made a good reaction from the gate and inside of the top ten."

Maschio, left at the back of the field by all but two bikes, knew that any chance of a podium would be slim, with the top five were already well out in front, but by the end of the opening lap he was up to 17th and by lap two into 12th - with the top ten just in his sight,

"I was pushing really hard to come through, I almost came to grief several times, it was very dusty in some places and the track was slippery either with watering of just loose dirt," the #1 explained. "Off the good race line it was tricky, I was almost caught out a few times, the front and rear wheels just sliding away but I managed to control it."

At the start of lap eight, Mickael was into 6th position with Eric Eggens in sight,

"It took me two laps to get by Chiodi but I expected that, he has been injured but was carrying good speed, once I got to six position I knew it was a big gap to the leaders, more than half a minute, I just concentrated on riding smooth and during the laps few laps slowed down to ensure that I maintained my 6th position," he said. "I wasn't hurting from the crash but I put a lot of effort and used a lot of energy in during the first few laps and didn't want to waste those points. It was frustrating but crashes happen at the first turn you just have to accept it and try to avoid any trouble."

The race was won by Belgian Stefan Everts on the 250cc four stroke Yamaha, he has won two out of the last three GP's, Steve Ramon (KTM) held onto second position to maintain a slender three point advantage over Andrea Bartolini who is lying 3rd with 115 points on the second of the Yamaha thumpers.