Andrea Dovizioso was left cursing a missed podium opportunity after two early mistakes and a last lap crash in an eventful Motorland Aragon MotoGP race.
The Italian made big mistakes in successive laps at turn 10 to sit only seventh in the early stages.
He passed Marco Simoncelli on lap five to take sixth spot and from the halfway stage got embroiled in the fight of the 23-lap encounter with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Ben Spies.
The Repsol Honda rider looked like denying the Texan a heroic fifth spot when he attacked on the penultimate lap.
But Spies was not to be outdone and he duly fought back with a daring move on the brakes at the first corner on the final lap.
Dovizioso once again got his RC212V back in front at turn eight before Spies retaliated again at turn 11.
But just as their epic tussle reached a thrilling climax in front of a crowd of just over 70,000 fans, Dovizioso crashed out at turn 12.
The former world 125GP champion said: “Of course I’m really disappointed things ended in this way because my pace in the middle of the race was very good and the battle with Spies was exciting.
"During the battle with Spies we overtook each other three or four times in the last laps and it was fun. But the crash spoiled the day. It happened between turns 12 and 13. Spies went in too deep and I tried to overtake him on the inside.
"That meant I was carrying a little bit more speed through the change of direction and as I flicked from left to right I highsided. I’m really disappointed because we have lost third position in the championship, which is still our target even though scoring zero points makes this more difficult.
"I am really angry also for the mistakes in the first two laps. I made a mistake in turn 10 on both laps and I lost contact with Dani, Casey and Lorenzo and this is the reason why I couldn’t fight for third.
"I had the pace to fight for third and in the second half of the race Spies and me were faster than Hayden and Lorenzo. I was close to them at the beginning and that’s why I’m really disappointed. The good point is I had a good pace."