This is the moment, unseen on TV, that Kevin Curtain lost the front of his Yamaha Motor Germany R6 - and with it the 2006 World Supersport championship.

The Australian came into Sunday's Magny-Cours season finale needing to finish just eighth - even if nearest rival, and reigning champion, Sebastien Charpentier won the race - but agonisingly crashed out of fourth place on lap eight of 22. Charpentier went on to win the race from Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu and thus become the first rider to win the championship two times.

"I just don't know what to say," shrugged the 40-year-old. "It all seemed too good to be true and we came back to reality with a bang. That's my first race crash of the year and I just can't believe that it had to happen today. I don't really know what happened, I was running with Checa and was trying to pull a bit of a gap on him as we had almost touched a few times. I was going through the long left when I just lost the front and went down. I'm feeling down just now but I know that I'll be able to refocus and come back to challenge for the title next year."

Yamaha has re-signed both Curtain and team-mate Broc Parkes to again lead its World Supersport challenge in 2007. The injured Parkes, who saw his own title hopes end after a heavy accident at Assen, stayed with the Ten Kate Hondas for the opening part of Sunday's race before slipping back to a safe third - but still thought his team-mate had taken the title.

"It's been a very disappointing day for us and I can't believe that Kevin hasn't won the championship," admitted fellow Australian Parkes. "Our team has put so much into this season and after Brands Hatch it seemed that we had two chances at the title. Sebastien has taken the opportunity and I must congratulate him and his team, because they have done a great job.

"After Assen I lost my own chance of winning the championship when I crashed and got injured, but today I was ready and willing to help Kevin. I thought that he was behind me, in fourth, and it was only when the race finished I knew that he was out. I'm so disappointed for Kevin but I feel that I have ridden well in these last two races.

"I like this circuit and fully fit I could probably have run with Sebastien and Kenan today. I felt the power drain out of my body at about half distance and I was happy to bring it home on the podium. I want to win the title so badly next year and I'll be training hard over the winter to make sure that we come back fitter and stronger," he declared.