Dani Pedrosa is adamant his MotoGP title hopes have not been ended by his early exit from the San Marino Grand Prix.
An aborted start, general confusion and a locked front wheel all combined to deprive Pedrosa of pole and forced him to start from the back of the grid. He attacked immediately and had passed a swathe of riders when, heading into Turn 6, he was wiped out following contact with the Pramac Ducati of Hector Barbera.
Pedrosa's exit, combined with Jorge Lorenzo's victory, leaves him 38 points adrift in the championship with five races to go - a gap Pedrosa refuses to believe is insurmountable.
"The championship is not over for me; there are still five races to go and we will do our best," Pedrosa said. "It's obviously more uphill for me, but I will continue the same way. We have done everything we could so far, the bike is working well and I'm riding well, too."
Pedrosa, winner of the two races prior to Misano, is convinced he could have won even with the setback of starting from the back.
"I'm very upset because even [though] it's easy to say now, I think I could have had a chance to win this race, even starting from the last place on the grid," he reflected. "It was total chaos and many things happened at the same time. It all began with the restart because the procedure was not at all clear. Nobody knew if it was one minute, three minutes, warmers on or off...
"We were also getting different information about the number of laps, 26, 27, then suddenly we were told it was one minute to the start of the race, with no board signage, nothing.
"The mechanics were rushing to prepare and when they tried to take off the warmers my front wheel was somehow locked, they tried to unlocked it but they weren't able to and due to the one minute warning – where they are not allowed to touch the bike anymore – they put me to the back of the grid.
"I tried to remain focused, not make any mistakes on the first lap, make clear moves to overtake riders. I was eighth or ninth by the sixth corner when Barbera hit me from behind, and that was it."