A tense battle for fourth place between Nicky Hayden and Troy Bayliss in Sunday's British Grand Prix came to a premature end with a dramatic high-speed trip across damp grass at the fearsome Craner Curves.

Hayden caught a then fifth placed Bayliss on lap 3 of 30, and would follow the former World Superbike champion past his Ducati team-mate Loris Capirossi before overtaking the Australian at the midway point of the race.

However, the Repsol Honda rider was unable to drop Bayliss and the Marlboro backed rider would haunt Hayden until the pair descended the 120mph Craner Curves with 12 laps to go.

At that point Hayden appeared to stumble slightly as he flicked his factory RCV through the left hand kink; whether that distracted Bayliss or he simply made an unrelated error was hard to determine, but the end result was the Aussie spearing straight on.

"I had one big 'let go' down Craner which was pretty scary," recalled Bayliss afterwards. "It was a long ride across the grass, I just told myself 'don't touch anything!' "

Bayliss would eventually rejoin the circuit, but had lost five-seconds and any chance to challenge Hayden. Nevertheless, it was the fifth placed Australian who was most pleased with his performance...

"I'm not happy really, not happy at all with the way I rode," sighed Hayden. "I thought I definitely had a better chance. My bike was good, we had a good set-up and we made a good tyre choice but I didn't really put the race together.

"It was all pretty frustrating - I wanted to be in a position to fight at the end of the race. We were in that position and I put my best laps together at the end of the race but I was too far back," he admitted.

"I'm really happy to finally get a decent result under my belt, especially after a tough few races," said Bayliss. "I thought I might do a bit better, but overall I'm really happy. I know I can ride up front."

The contrast of opinion also extended to their respective summer holiday plans before the next round at Brno on August 22. Both will be training hard, but Bayliss plans some relaxation - something Hayden feels he can't afford.

"If the season had been going better we could have had a holiday and I feel I could relax a bit; as it is I just want to go away and train harder and come back stronger," said Nicky.

"During the break I'll be relaxing and training hard so we can get some good results during the rest of the season," stated 'Baylisstic'.