Miguel Oliviera denied Danny Kent the Moto3 title at Phillip Island with a vital win, as Kent crashed out spectacularly in the Australian round.
Portuguese rider Oliviera closed to within 40 points of points leader Kent with two rounds remaining, following his fourth victory of the season.
Arriving in Australia with a 56-point advantage over closest rival Enea Bastianini, Kent needed a top-two finish to be certain of putting an end to an agonising 38-year wait for a British champion.
He suffered an early scare when punted from behind by Francesco Bagnaia’s Mahindra, causing him to take to the run-off and dropping from the lead to 16th. He was quickly back ahead of main title rival Bastianini and looked poised to be back into championship-winning position.
However, Kent crashed out spectacularly after being clipped by Niccolo Antonelli, as Kent cut across him with 10 laps remaining while in the thick of a battle for a top-six finish.
Kent was left prostrate for a few moments, after he was sent somersaulting off the bike, and limped away clearly in pain after landing heavily at high speed.
"My hip is a little bit sore, it's a fast corner, but really frustrating," said Kent. "We got hit two times in the race by two Italians – shock – erm, and, y'know, got taken out.
"We could easily have been on the podium in that race and that would've been championship done and now it goes on until Malaysia."
Antonelli said: "Danny closed the line from the outside, I couldn't do anything. As we touched, I had to pick up my bike, so we crashed. Disaster, but this is a disaster weekend for me."
Kent was left to watch from the sidelines with Bastianini, who also crashed out in the ensuing multiple pile-up. Both were taken to the medical centre for a check-up but appear to have escaped unscathed ahead of next weekend's event.
Oliviera said: "I notice that the championship is still on, I cannot believe what a crazy race that was. I had no idea, to be honest, I couldn't see anything of Kent on the TV screens.
"I'm so glad I won the race, I knew we needed to win, it's a fantastic feeling."
Kent's next move already sorted
It was confirmed last month that Kent will be stepping up to Moto2 next season with his current Leopard Racing team, having turned down offers from the Pramac, Avintia and Aspar MotoGP teams.
The 21-year-old last contested the intermediate class with the uncompetitive Tech 3 team in 2013 before stepping back to Moto3, and will partner fellow Moto3 graduate Miguel Oliveira next year riding a Kalex.
Leopard's Moto3 line-up for 2016 will consist of second-year rider Fabio Quartararo, Andrea Locatelli and rookie Joan Mir, who made his Moto3 debut this weekend at Phillip Island.