Makoto Tamada has been excluded from third place at his home GP after clashing with Sete Gibernau at the end of the back straight, on the very last lap.

The Hondas of Gibernau and Tamada touched at high speed when the Japanese pulled out of Gibernau's slipstream, then cut across the Catalan before he was fully ahead - sending the #15's RCV into a high speed 'tank slapper' after the contact. A shocked Sete was then forced to take to the gravel at the end of the straight after failing to slow down in time.

Tamada had no such problems and went on to finish third, matching his best ever MotoGP finish acheived two weeks ago in Rio. Makoto duly took his place on the podium - only to be excluded from the results for "riding in an irresponsible manner causing danger to other riders" after the race. An appeal was lodged by his Pramac Honda team, but it was overturned.

Race director Paul Butler explained: "We want to give a message to the riders that these things (MotoGP bikes) are fast, heavy and dangerous. We've spoken to the rider and there was an element of 'it's a fair cop' to his reaction."

Tamada's exclusion moves AMA Champion Nicky Hayden into third place - his first ever top three finish - while Gibernau (who finished fifth) moves up to fourth. The Telefonica Honda rider now trails Rossi in the Championship by 58 points with three rounds remaining.

Race Direction also decided to suspend John Hopkins from the next round at Sepang on the 12th October for his part in the first turn pile-up (see seperate story).



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