Aleix Espargaro apologised to fellow Spaniard and MotoGP rookie Alvaro Bautista after knocking him out of Sunday's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

The pair clashed while battling for 13th place on lap three, with the contact sending the Rizla Suzuki rider to the ground.

"I felt good on the bike and at the start of the third lap I passed Espargaro on the first corner and as I made the normal line to the second turn, which is two consecutive corners, he hit me in the body and I crashed," said Bautista. "This is very disappointing because I felt really very good and had been able to overtake other riders quite easily."

Espargaro admitted he was to blame.

"In the third lap Bautista tried to overtake me and we touched. I apologise for the accidental contact with him and his fall, I know how important it is for the rookies to score points on all the tracks," he said.

The Pramac Ducati rider also failed to reach the flag after touching a white line and falling from ninth place with just under four laps to go.

"I slightly touched the white line at the edge of the track and lost the front of my bike," he said. "Too bad because I would have easily finished the race in the top ten, which on such a difficult track would have been a good result for my debut."

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