MotoGP title contender Dani Pedrosa is out of the San Marino Grand Prix after a series of incidents ended with the pole sitter being taken out on the opening lap at Misano.

All was going normally until Karel Abraham stalled his Ducati just moments before the red lights went out for the planned start - causing several riders to leave their grid places before spotting the stoppage.

Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team then struggled to remove the front tyre warmer for the restart - it is unclear if this was the symptom or cause of a locked front wheel - forcing Pedrosa's bike to be wheeled off the grid.

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Although the tyre warmer/locked wheel then released, allowing Pedrosa's RC213V to be wheeled back in time to re-join the sighting lap, Pedrosa was still trying to fix some kind of problem as he rode to the grid.

Forced to start in last place, Pedrosa made swift progress through the initial turns - only to have his back wheel struck by Hector Barbera at the apex of a left hander, at the end of the first back straight, launching Pedrosa into a highside and his first non-score of the year.

Pramac Ducati rider Barbera was starting his first race since a training injury in July.

Pedrosa was seeking his third win in a row and had closed to within 13 point of Jorge Lorenzo, who now leads the race from Valentino Rossi and Stefan Bradl.

Cal Crutchlow, who qualified on the front row, crashed out on lap 5.