Hector Barbera has apologized for his role in the crash which sent Dani Pedrosa crashing out of the San Marino Grand Prix.
Pedrosa had been forced to begin the race from the back of the grid after an issue with his tire warmer ahead of the second restart. He was up to 12th by the first corner and passed Aspar CRT rider Randy de Puniet and Barbera – both of whom were on the inside – into Turn 2.
As Pedrosa came across to take his line, however, Barbera caught his rear wheel and sent him crashing out. The exit was particularly devastating as it allowed Jorge Lorenzo, Pedrosa's title rival, to cruise to victory and extend his advantage to 38 points with five races to run.
Barbera said he had not been trying to pass Pedrosa, but had been unable to avoid his bike as he had de Puniet on his outside.
"First of all I want to apologize to Dani, who is fighting for the championship," Barbera said on Twitter. "I'm very sorry, but it was a set of circumstances.
"He overtook Randy and me under braking on the outside. I was parallel with Randy and suddenly Dani dove for the corner. Neither Randy or me had that line. I couldn't go to the outside because Randy was there and on the inside Dani has closed the gap. There was nothing I could do.
"It's obvious that I wasn't trying to pass him, that's clear. It was just that I had Randy on the outside and Dani on the inside with a line that was tighter than ours. I couldn't avoid him. I can only say it's a racing incident, and probably with the wrong rider.
"I'm very sorry for him, but it's not his or my fault. It's just a racing incident. A lot of coincidences together."
Barbera was starting his first race since a training accident in July.