Despite using two different brands of tyre, Camel Honda team-mates Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada both saw their Catalan GP ambitions blighted by rubber problems.

Michelin man Biaggi was left just eighth at the flag after limping hope with a defective rear tyre.

"I got a good start which put me into the top group, then I began to get a problem in the rear tyre that just made everything impossible," sighed Max. "In the analysis at the end of the race we realised that it was defective and that was the cause of the chattering that made the bike virtually impossible to ride.

"It's a big disappointment and we need to put this result to one side and continue with our work in (Monday's) tests at this track. I'm completely confident in Michelin and in the brilliant work they have always done. This is just a one off," he added.

Team principal Sito Pons was quick to confirm his rider's diagnosis: "Max had a clear problem with his rear tyre and because of that was unable to fight for victory and above all to complete the fine work he had done in qualifying. The data analysis we did as soon as he got off the bike confirmed that Max was affected by a strange vibration that disturbed his control of the bike," said the Spaniard.

Bridgestone rider Makoto Tamada was even less lucky, the Japanese being forced to retire on lap 13 after his tyres - which had been redesigned following the Mugello problems - 'rapidly deteriorated in performance'.

"Makoto suffered a serious deterioration in his rear tyre performance, which made the bike very difficult to ride. Despite having been up there for the first 12 laps of the race, he decided to retire, knowing that staying out there wouldn't even have brought us any new data or information," explained Tamada's team manager Gianluca Montiron.

"We understand his decision and now we focus our attention on (Monday's) test. As well as Makoto, Bridgestone's official test rider will come down to the track to help solve the problems quicker," he added.



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