As well as MotoGP, there was an equally intense head-to-head in the 250cc Catalan Grand Prix and, unfortunately for the home crowd, fortune also swayed away from their local favourite.

Home hero, and reigning 125cc world champion, Dani Pedrosa took an enthralling challenge to series leader Randy De Puniet - which went down to a tense last lap.

Frenchman De Puniet won with an aggressive late braking manoeuvre four corners from the end to take victory by just 0.109 secs.

Toni Elias, who like Pedrosa was born just a few kilometres from the Montmel? circuit, rode to a lonely third to clinch the final podium spot after team-mate Roby Rolfo had been knocked out of the battle for front positions by Manuel Poggiali on the fifteenth lap.

Neither Rolfo nor Poggiali were able to return to the race, leaving Sebas Porto and Fonsi Nieto to complete the top five ahead of Japanese rookie Hiroshi Aoyama.

250 Race top ten
1. Randy De Puniet Safilo Carrera-LCR Aprilia
2. Daniel Pedrosa Telefonica Movistar Honda
3. Toni Elias Fortuna Honda
4. Sebastian Porto Repsol-Aspar Aprilia
5. Fonsi Nieto Repsol-Aspar Aprilia
6. Hiroshi Aoyama Telefonica Movistar Honda
7. Sylvain Guintoli Campetella APrilia
8. Alex Debon Wurth BQR Honda
9. Anthony West Freesoul Abruzzo Aprilia
10. Franco Battaini Campetella Racing