Andrea Dovizioso blew his hopes of a second successive Sepang MotoGP podium when he crashed out of third place in Sunday’s rain-hit 21-lap encounter.
Surging through from 11th on the grid, the Italian was in third place by the end of lap one and set about a dogged pursuit of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
But while coming under intense pressure himself from a hard-charging Valentino Rossi, Dovizioso crashed out at the fifth corner on lap 15.
The spill dented Dovizioso’s hopes of securing fifth in the championship, though a struggling Colin Edwards could only claw back three points with a bitterly disappointing ride to 13th in tricky conditions.
Dovizioso, who won a rain-hit British GP back in late June, said: “I was having a really good race and a podium would have been a really positive result for me and the team in our current situation, so of course I’m very disappointed about how it finished.
"Actually I didn’t get off the line too well but in the braking zone into turn one and through the first two corners I was able to overtake many riders and climb up to fifth place. My first lap was very good and I was moving forward quickly. Once into third position, I was riding close to the limit and was closing on Dani - and I definitely had my sights set on the podium finish.
"The Bridgestone wet tyres were working well, though you always have to be very careful because they are very soft. Then, during the 15th lap, the front turned more quickly than usual and it tucked.
"It’s a shame today because I was feeling good on the machine and I really wanted this result for myself and the team.”