Ben Spies looked to be in with a fighting chance of his first MotoGP podium of the season, as he slotted into third on the opening lap of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

But the Factory Yamaha rider speared off-track at the start of the second lap, crossing the turn one gravel trap and then falling after contact with the tyre barrier, ending his race.

The team believes the Texan's brakes had already overheated.

"I'm incredibly frustrated with today's result," said Spies, who has now suffered incidents in all three of his Motegi appearances.

"We've known all weekend that the brakes could be an issue due to the tough nature of the track but I did not expect to have trouble on the second lap.

"The team has worked really hard all weekend and we've delivered podium pace with the bike so it's not the result we deserve.

"We'll go to Sepang now and try to put this behind us and hopefully have a trouble-free weekend."

Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli said that the data confirmed Spies had not done anything differently at the first turn.

"Ben had an issue with the brakes on the second lap of the race," he said.

"The warm-up lap and lap one of the race went relatively smoothly but then on the second lap he was not able to stop the bike.

"Data does not show anything different on that corner compared with previous practices."

Spies' fifth non-score of the season leaves him tenth in the standings.

Team-mate and title leader Jorge Lorenzo finished second at Motegi.