Second fastest in qualifying, just 0.11 seconds off pole, Max Biaggi went into yesterday's Pacific Grand Prix confident of challenging for another win on his Marlboro Yamaha YZR-M1.

But the Italian was unable to run with the leading pack from the outset, spending the first half of the race battling for fourth place with Tohru Ukawa. Then things went from bad to worse when he ran into front-tyre problems which led to him being black flagged (pictured) for his own safety - forcing him into the pits just after halfway.

"We chose a very soft front tyre, which was a big risk and turned out to be a problem," confessed Biaggi, whose DNF dropped him back to third in the points chase. "The tyre started smoking and though I was able to do another two or three laps it was impossible to continue.

"The tyre was our choice, usually the M1 can use softer tyres than the other four-strokes, but this was a gamble that didn't pay off," confirmed the Roman Emperor. "I was confident of a good result because I'd been fast and consistent during practice, but now I know that we should've been more conservative on tyre choice. I'm disappointed, but hopefully we can make up for this in Malaysia and get back second in the championship."

Marlboro Yamaha Team director Davide Brivio added: "We knew (the tyre) was a risky choice - sometimes you take risks and win, but it didn't work out like that."



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