Andrea Dovizioso says a brake problem contributed to the crash that cost him a shot at victory in the Catalunya Grand Prix.
The Honda rider was chasing leader Jorge Lorenzo when he fell at half-distance. He was able to climb out of the gravel and continue, but finished only 14th.
"Today we had a really good race pace and we could have fought with Lorenzo for the win at the end of the race," Dovizioso said."Unfortunately, though, from lap one my rear brake was not really working properly in the last part of the corner entry and this gave me some problems entering corners and midcorner. I was still able to be fast, but this issue put more weight on the front, it was very difficult to control – I was always at the limit. Then, at Turn 9, I went a little bit over the limit and crashed.
"It's a pity but I have to take the positives from today, and fighting at the front of the race is where we want to be and we achieved that for a time today. Anyway, I'm happy with my performance, and I'm sorry for the team because we are all working hard. Next time we'll aim to be back up front again."
Team manager Toshiyuki Yamaji said Honda had to be encouraged by the Catalunya performance despite not getting the win. Dovizioso's teammate Dani Pedrosa ultimately took second despite dropping to the foot of the top 10 when he ran wide at the first corner having also been caught out by his brakes.
"Andrea's battle for the lead with Lorenzo is hugely positive and proves his ever-increasing pace," said Yamaji. "Of course, we're also a little disappointed about what could have been because both riders had the chance of victory today but it didn't work out for us.
"We go to the next race confident that we have enough performance to fight for victories, and we will continue to strive to improve further."