Honda has revealed that a problem with the throttle cable caused the accident that left Dani Pedrosa was a broken collarbone and almost certainly ended his 2010 MotoGP title hopes.
Pedrosa fell from his factory RC212V only five minutes into Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
As Pedrosa began braking for turn nine, he lost control and fell, with his left leg at first remaining under the bike as he slid into the gravel - but it was his shoulder that suffered most.
“It was a strange crash in only my second full lap, in a slow section of the track," recalled Pedrosa. "I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn't avoid going down."
Honda subsequently found the cause of the accident - the throttle stuck open - which it claims has been solved.
'A small problem with the throttle cable didn't allow Pedrosa to close the throttle when he came to brake, an issue which has already been investigated and resolved,' said a Repsol Honda press release.
Pedrosa suffered a three-fragment fracture to his left collarbone when he slammed into the asphalt and will head home to Spain for surgery.
"After the crash I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful," said Dani, who was carried from the track on a stretcher.
"I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track - so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results.
"I've been very healthy through the pre-season and through the year and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed - I don't feel as though I deserve it.
"Anyway, once the doctors had checked everything here, we decided it was best to go back to Spain for the operation. I hope it goes as well as possible and that I can return to racing soon.”
With five rounds to go, Pedrosa is already 56 points behind Yamaha's title leader Jorge Lorenzo, who can now win the championship next weekend in Malaysia.
And if Pedrosa misses the next three races, in three weeks, then Lorenzo will be crowned without needing to score a point.
Pedrosa had been enjoying his best season in MotoGP, with four race wins. He is 73 points ahead of third placed Casey Stoner (Ducati).