Rossi crashes out after contact with Yamahas
"When Lorenzo touched me, it pushed me into Spies, who touched my front brake lever... I was in the wrong place at the wrong time" - Valentino Rossi.
Valentino Rossi's Japanese MotoGP ended at the second turn, when contact with Factory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies ended with the Italian down and out (see below for further pictures).
"Unfortunately, Lorenzo went onto the grass slightly in Turn 1, and in the next turn he moved suddenly to get his trajectory right. He didn't see me because I was slightly behind," explained Rossi.
"When he touched me, it pushed me into Spies, who touched my front brake lever. It was normal racing contact, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Rossi suffered a hard blow to a finger on his left hand, although X-rays carried out after he returned to the garage didn't reveal any fractures.
The fall was especially frustrating since Rossi had hoped to build on a weekend best of fourth place in the morning warm-up session.
"It's really a shame to be out of the race after two corners, especially after the progress that we made this weekend, and with the knowledge that we'd worked on the bike well," he said. "I was fourth in the morning warm-up, and it would have been possible to have a pace in the high 1min 46 range.
"I also think our choice of tyres for the race - hard on the back and soft on the front - was correct. When you also consider the troubles that Stoner, Simoncelli and Dovizioso had, we could have fought for the podium, which would have been really nice for us. We were a little unlucky.
"Anyway, we did a good job this weekend, and we were more competitive than usual. It's a challenging time for us, but we hope we're on the right path."
Rossi's DNF ended a run of 25 consecutive points finishes.