Shinya Nakano bounced back from his huge crash at Mugello with a vengeance at Catalunya on Sunday, the Kawasaki's tar claiming the ZX-RR's best ever result after beating Camel Honda's Max Biaggi to seventh place.

Just one week previously, Nakano had been thrown down the Mugello main straight at 200mph when his rear Bridgestone exploded - but showed no signs of caution with a committed race ride, culminating in a daring last corner pass on Biaggi.

"Last week I crashed at Mugello and thought I was dead, and then today I score my best result of the season. That's racing, and that's why I enjoy it so much," said Shinya before explaining his last gasp pass: "Towards the end of the race I could see Max Biaggi was spinning up the rear quite a lot, so I knew there was an opportunity to pass him into the last turn if I changed my line slightly."

"Shinya was brilliant; he showed that nothing can slow him down," enthused team manager Harald Eckl.

Nakano and his four fellow Bridgestone users rode with a modified rear tyreat catalunya, designed and constructed in just three days to avoid a repeat of the Mugello failures. Camel Honda's Makoto Tamada and both Team Suzuki riders struggled to get the new rubber dialled in, but team green were delighted with its performance.

"There were a lot of discussions about tyres in the paddock before the race, but I was never in any doubt that the rear that Bridgestone gave us today would last full race distance," declared Nakano.

"Both Bridgestone and my crew did an amazing job this weekend, giving me a really good race set-up so that I was able to control the slides and stay with the factory Honda guys. In some corners I had something of an advantage, but then lost out again on the straights."

"After what happened at Mugello, I am full of respect for Bridgestone and the job they did to make such a very competitive tyre in just three days," added Eckl. "Our team never had any doubt that the race tyre was technically safe for race distance, and our riders and engineers worked perfectly to find a set-up that would deliver maximum performance."

Meanwhile, team-mate Alex Hofmann missed a top tenth finish by one tenth of second when he just failed to retake Loris Capirossi's factory Ducati on the final lap, after a close battle over the closing five laps.

Early in the race Hofmann lost some ground in a tight battle for track position in a packed field, dropping to 17th on the opening lap, but once the race settled he made consistent forward progress.

"Once again there was a problem getting the bike off the line and I dropped back quite a few places off the start. Then I was involved in a seven way battle and I got held up for too long by Neil Hodgson; I could pass him into the turns, only for him to retake the position on the straights," revealed Alex.

"Towards the end I had a great battle with Loris. He would overtake on the straights and I'd pass him in the corners, but on the final lap he defended his line really well and I couldn't quite manage to squeeze past him for tenth," added the German. "Bridgestone did a fantastic job for us. Like Shinya, I never had any doubt that the tyre would be good for race distance."