Dani Pedrosa said renewed pain from the shoulder and arm injury he suffered at the end of last season caused his decline in pace at the end of the Qatar Grand Prix.
The Spaniard broke his collarbone in a practice crash at Motegi last year, causing him to miss three races and struggle for strength on his return. He underwent surgery during the winter and had appeared to be back to full fitness in testing, but discomfort returned during today's race at Losail, causing him to fall from fighting for the lead with Honda teammate Casey Stoner to only just hanging on to third.
"Basically the race was pretty good – I was consistent, I was happy, the bike was amazing in the corners and on the straights the bike was fast. Everything was all right," said Pedrosa. "But mid-race I started to have a lot of problems with my left arm again. I couldn't control the bike anymore.
"I just tried to slow down because I could not take control of the bike, I couldn't grip really well or use the clutch in the proper way. I just tried to finish the race in the best position I could. I had a tough time in the second part of the race."
Pedrosa hopes he can find ways to prevent the arm issue reoccurring in round two at Jerez in two weeks.
"I have to see what I can do for the next race to try to somehow improve these problems," he said.