Jorge Lorenzo said he was angry with himself for crashing in Australia, but was not downcast about the points lost as he knew the title was already unlikely.
The Spaniard's first lap error at Phillip Island and title rival Valentino Rossi's second place has given Rossi a commanding 38 point advantage in the championship with only two races to go, giving him an excellent chance of clinching his seventh MotoGP crown at Sepang next weekend. Lorenzo crashed heavily in Australia after tapping the back of Nicky Hayden's Ducati as they braked for the first corner.
"I'm a little bit sad for this crash, not for the championship but for my mistake," said Lorenzo. "I didn't expect this kind of mistake from myself. It was totally my fault, I miscalculated the distance off the line and Nicky braked earlier than I was expecting and I hit him.I thought I could save it but my front brake was broken and so when I tried to brake for the corner I couldn't and the rear made a big slide.
"I want to say sorry to Nicky, because I ruined his race today."
Before the race Lorenzo had declared that he had nothing to lose as he tried to close Rossi's previous 18 point lead, and he remained calm about the championship after the crash.
"The title was a long shot anyway and now I just want to look forward to the final two races," he said.
Hayden, who was able to continue to finish 15th with a damaged bike, accepted Lorenzo's apology.
"I got probably the best start I have had all season but unfortunately it proved to be my downfall," he said. "I'm not sure what happened to Jorge -- I saw he got a bad start as I passed him, then the next thing I know I felt a really hard impact.
"It was so hard it tore both our bikes up and obviously he couldn't keep his upright. Thankfully, I did and I got back on track, but the thing was so damaged I was just riding around.
"Anyway, I can't blame Jorge because he is fighting for the championship, he obviously didn't mean it and I know it is not his style. The good thing is that I didn't get hurt, which could have easily happened in that corner."
Although he hit the ground at high speed in the incident, Lorenzo escaped with only superficial injuries from sliding across the track and run-off.
"I have a bit of damage to my nose and my finger but it could have been a lot worse," he said. "This is what happens in racing and, although I am disappointed about the race, the most important thing is that I am not badly injured."