Troy Corser failing to finish a Corona Extra WSBK race - for any reason - hadn't happened since 2004, but that amazing run came to dramatic end in race two at Phillip Island on Sunday, when the reigning world champion was thrown from his Alstare Suzuki - then hit by Alex Barros - while chasing a double home victory.
Corser had earlier clinched race one after a tremendous battle with countryman Troy Bayliss and former MotoGP star Barros - whom Corser just held off at the flag, after long time leader Bayliss was forced to slow with tyre problems.
"I had a feeling that Bayliss would not be able to keep up that pace for the whole race and that his tyres would not last, and that's how it worked out," said Corser afterwards. "When I caught him, I could see he was having problems, so it was no surprise when I passed him. I then had a pretty good fight with Barros, but held him off at the end. Winning in Phillip Island is always sweet!"
But Corser's hopes of a repeat victory ended when he highsided from his GSX-R1000 K6 on the exit of MG Corner on lap 4 of race two. However, the initial accident was only part of the drama, since Corser had landed right in front of Yamaha Italia team-mates Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt, plus the Klaffi Honda of Barros.
Haga and Pitt were able to thread their way around the stricken bike and rider - both of which were sliding slowly across the track, but Barros - the last of the trio - was forced to try and turn inside as the gap the R1 riders had ridden through closed.
The experienced Brazilian turned as hard as he could, but still clipped Corser's head and back with his left footpeg and the side of his bike. A stunned Corser was then forced to literally dive off the track as further riders approached.
"I was well-placed in race two, but on the approach to the turn after Lukey Heights, the rear end suddenly went and I was highsided," confirmed Troy. "I felt a thud on my back and realised I had been hit by a bike, but I thought I had got away with it. But, to make sure, I went to a hospital in Melbourne for a check-up. I really don't know why I crashed, because the telemetry shows that I wasn't doing anything different to the previous laps. But I guess that's racing!"
Fortunately, Corser escaped without injury but Barros - who went on to finish third in race two after overcoming the Yamaha Italia riders - naturally spent the rest of the race two worrying about the impact.
"I lost a little bit of concentration when Troy crashed right in front of me, and I could not avoid him. I was afraid that I injured him, but in this moment I could not avoid hitting him," said Alex. "I had some good fights today, especially with Haga. I really enjoyed today's races, and to get two podiums was great for our team at this stage."
Check out the High res pics of Corsa Crash by Clicking Here