Dani Pedrosa has been ruled out of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix following his crash during practice at Motegi, effectively ending his MotoGP title hopes.
The Honda rider crashed his bike just six minutes into the opening session, sustaining a double-fragment fracture to his left collarbone. Honda said the crash was caused when a small problem with the throttle cable didn't allow Pedrosa to close the throttle when he tried to brake.
Pedrosa will fly to Spain tonight, with an operation scheduled for tomorrow. The Spaniard said he felt he "didn't deserve" the injury.
"Obviously, this has been a really bad day for us," said Pedrosa. "It was a strange crash in only my second full lap, in a slow section of the track. I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn't avoid going down.
"After the crash, I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful. I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track – so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results.
"I've been very healthy through the preseason and through the year, and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed – I don't feel as though I deserve it."
Pedrosa's absence from the race means Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo has virtually clinched this year's title.