Max Biaggi was fighting with Sete Gibernau for third place on the penultimate lap of Sunday's Catalan Grand Prix when he attempted an out-braking manoeuvre on the Spaniard at the end of the back straight - but couldn't stop in time.

Instead of slowing down, the Roman's rear wheel began skipping over the Catalan asphalt, sending him straight through the gravel trap and into a tyre wall. Biaggi hung on to his RCV right until the point of impact, before remounting to finish 14th.

"When I tried to pass Sete I went in and tried 100%, maybe too much. I had to brake real hard, I just braked and braked and just couldn't stop, sending me into the gravel," explained Max. "I've had problems with hard braking all weekend with the rear moving around too much and I was never really confident of the feel of the bike on the brakes.

"I tried my hardest, but Ducati and Rossi were faster. I scored a couple of points, the left side of my back hurts a little but the real pain is inside. Anyway, the Championship keeps moving on and we need to wake up," he warned.

"Today has been a day of real bad luck for our team," sighed Spaniard Sito Pons. "At one stage we were fighting for the lead after Rossi had ridden off the track, and then the next Max crashed out. His track exit was a shame because all our good work was not rounded off with the result it deserved."

Camel Pramac Pons team-mate Tohru Ukawa was equally unhappy, plagued by an engine that was not operating at peak performance. But the determined Japanese fought his way to sixth place and the team is determined to eradicate the problem during testing at the track today (Monday).

"I had the same engine problems as Saturday and we ran out time to make things work properly," confirmed Tohru. "I don't even know if the chassis and tyres were okay because I wasn't even able to push hard enough to find out.

"I'm bitterly disappointed. At the start of the year all our tests were good but since the start of the season things just haven't been right. We're testing here on Monday and we've got to get things right," he added.

"Ukawa had difficulties with the engine mapping and this caused problems with the lower gears. As far as Biaggi is concerned, in the warm-up we found a good set-up although perhaps he had to take too many risks to stay with the leaders," said Technical Director Antonio Cobas.