Both Yamaha Belgarda riders Jamie Whitham and Paolo Casoli crashed out of contention whilst leading Sunday's second round of the Supersport World Championship race at Phillip Island.

Whitham had made a superb start and took the lead ahead of Chambon (Suzuki) and Pitt (Kawasaki), but then inexplicably tipped off at MG the slowest corner on the course after just one lap. His team mate Casoli then took over the lead.

He was in front for fifteen of the twenty-one laps, before he too crashed this time at Siberia corner. Casoli had been fighting a terrific battle with 2001 champion Pitt, and had the situation well under control until two laps from the end when he fell at Siberia corner.

Pitt accepted the gift without question and went on to take the chequered flag and record his first ever victory in the Supersport World Championship. Second was Piergiorgio Bontempi (Ducati), with Stephane Chambon third.

Paolo Casoli struggled to explain what happened: "I really don't understand why or how I crashed. Up to that moment I felt very comfortable. I wasn't the bike harder and I was doing anything I hadn't done before, so I don't understand what happened. We have looked at the telemetry and the data shows nothing different at that point of the track to any other lap."

"I was happy in the lead, but also I knew I didn't have to win the race. I would've been quite happy to sit behind Pitt and take second if he went past me easily. I have never in my life crashed so close to the end of a race and I am very disappointed. The championship is very long, but zero points is very bad. Last year, I gave Pitt the championship, this year I have given the points here."

Jamie Whitham was also at a loss for an explanation: "All weekend, I have felt relaxed and comfortable on the bike. I had no problem at all being in front and I wasn't pushing it all, so I have no idea why I crashed. I wasn't panicking or anything like that it all felt OK. There is no excuse though for what I did and I'm kicking myself because we can't afford to lose points especially at a track where we've been good all weekend. It really bugs me to gift it to people. Let's hope that's it for the season. The only good news is that at this stage of the season I'm better off then last year!"

Understandably team manager Maio Merregalli was rather perplexed: "Today has been a very strange day and it's hard to understand what happened. Both Jamie and Paolo were very happy with their bikes and we were looking forward to some good results, but in the end we came away with absolutely nothing!"

"This championship is very competitive and it's important to score as many points as you can in every race. For sure, both our riders could've been on the podium and in a strong position in the series, Now we have to pick ourselves up and get good results in South Africa and Japan."