Hector Barbera has “apologised profusely” for his part in the accident which took championship contender Dani Pedrosa out of Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix. Pedrosa had hit problems following an aborted start which caused him to start from the back and he subsequently came to blows with Barbera as he charged through the field.

Barbera ran into the back of his compatriot at Quercia and later took full responsibility for the crash which left Pedrosa 38 points off the championship lead.

It’s a shame. I was impatient to get back on the track, but my adventure finished too early to enjoy myself. Unfortunately, when I followed Dani’s wheel, I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but I lost grip on the front. I’m very disappointed, even more so because I took out Dani in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that. I also apologise to my team that worked so hard this week. Now I have to wait another two weeks, but I will be ready for the Spanish round.”

Pramac Racing team manager Francesco Guidotti jumped to the defence of his rider while echoing the sentiments regarding Pedrosa.

“It’s a shame about the early crash. Héctor really did not mean it. We are sad, in particular because the crash caught up the World Championship contender, Pedrosa. Héctor was trying to gain places but he lost his braking reference and hit the brakes too hard, losing grip and sliding into Dani. All the Pramac Racing Team apologise to Pedrosa and his crew.”