Alvaro Bautista has apologised to his Rizla Suzuki team after crashing out of the Japanese Grand Prix from a promising fourth position.
Bautista looked set to deliver Suzuki their best finish of 2011 on home soil, running as high as third during the race as crashes and jump-start penalties shuffled the order.
He lost that position to championship leader Casey Stoner at the halfway stage, but with seven laps to go looked secure in fourth when he lost the front through Turn 12, crashing out at the pit lane entrance.
"This was for sure not the result we expected today," Bautista said. "I am sorry for the whole team because this result would have meant so much to them, and I'm sorry for Suzuki at its home Grand Prix because we wanted to make a good race and a positive result.
"There was a crash on the second corner and I then found myself in a good position. A few laps later some riders entered the pits because they did a jump start and I was then in third, but I knew it was not my real position.
"When Casey went past me and I saw what the distance was between me and Andrea – who was the next rider – and how many laps were left, I tried to follow Casey and keep the gap to Andrea. Near the last corner I lost the front and crashed and that was the end of the race for me.
"I have to keep the good things from this weekend in my mind and in the next race we have to keep doing the same things we have done here and keep our heads up!"