Randy de Puniet's 2011 MotoGP World Championship season ended almost exactly as it started as he was forced out of contention at the opening bend in Valencia.
The Frenchman has endured a trying season aboard the Pramac Ducati in 2011, de Puniet struggling to get the best from the Desmosedici, but appeared to have turned a corner in time for the final event as he showed impressive pace in practice and qualified fourth.
However, his hopes of a positive finish ended in the gravel trap at the first corner when he was skittled down by Alvaro Bautista
"I'm angry, disappointed, and sorry,” said de Puniet, who crashed on the opening lap of the first round in Qatar. “This has really been an unfortunate season. Bautista's fall caused my crash and three other crashes. I was convinced that I would've had a good race.
“I wanted to end this season in the best way possible. It was a pleasure to be Capirex's teammate in his final season."
de Puniet has been linked with a return to LCR Honda for 2012 or a possible switch to World Superbikes.