Andrea Dovizioso's race ended in the gravel trap on Sunday after a clash with Cal Crutchlow in the early stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Crutchlow made contact with the Ducati rider and admitted fault after the race and immediately apologised to his rival when he returned to the pits. For Dovizioso however the lost points will prove crucial and make it very difficult for him to finish sixth in the championship.
"He passed me in the wrong way, and he hit the front, and I lose the front," said Dovizioso after the race. "It wasn't intentional, he came to the box to apologise, because we are friend, and I know he is not that kind of rider, but he is not the best rider to overtake the other riders, also when I fight a lot with him in Yamaha, about the overtaking it wasn't the best. And today he did a mistake and he hit me in the middle of the race, nobody was there, so there are funny things."
Crutchlow held his hands up and said:
"First of all, I'd like to say sorry to Dovi, because I knocked him off, and he is the last rider on the track I would want to knock off, because he is the cleanest rider," said Crutchlow. "I apologised to him, and he took it very well. I braked deep into the last corner and went wide. But I already had the problem when I was behind Dovi, because I was braking so hard. He was pulling half a second on me in one sector, which was the two straights.
"I was braking really, really hard and I must have overheated the brake and cooked the brake, and I was unable to stop the bike. So then going towards the corner, I kept closing the front tyre, but honestly I should have been, when I got to Dovi, I had to pass him in the place I passed him, because it meant then I had half a lap to pull a little gap so he didn't pass me in the straight. And unfortunately I hit him and took him down I felt so bad, because Dovi's the cleanest rider on the track, honestly, and he is the last guy I would have wanted to knock off, not that I would want to knock anyone off. But he's the last guy I would want to hit or knock off, and I'm sorry to him for that, and I've already been to say sorry to him as well."