Nicky Hayden's French MotoGP lasted just a few turns before he fell due to contact from Andrea Iannone on the exit of the first chicane.

"Not a lot to report," said Aspar Honda rider Hayden on Sunday evening. "Obviously it's a shame. We found something to improve the bike this morning and I was able to go faster than in qualifying so I was excited for the race.

"I got a good start, probably my best of the year and was right there with a decent position.

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"As we went through the chicane I could feel another rider touch my handlebar and I couldn't do anything to avoid the crash. It's not the first time that some guys have come together at that chicane."

Iannone had qualified eleventh on the grid and was the only Factory class rider using the extra-soft rear tyre, which perhaps encouraged him to attack in the early laps. However it appears he was too aggressive, the incident with Hayden being followed by a fall on his own a lap later.

"I am sorry for the contact I had with Nicky, who fell. I didn't see him because he was behind me," said Iannone. "In addition, during the contact I completely destroyed my boot, it would have been difficult in any case to finish the race because the boot was completely open.

"Unfortunately I crashed on the second lap, I'm sorry I didn't finish this race as well."

After the race Ducati's Cal Crutchlow revealed that he and Iannone's team-mate Yonny Hernandez were also caught up in the incident.

"Today's race was wrecked for me in the first three corners because I was caught up in the collision with Nicky," Crutchlow said. "Iannone was hot as usual. He hit Nicky who crashed in front of me and then Hernandez hit me in the side of the leg so hard I thought he broke my leg.

"It wasn't his fault because I really slowed down to avoid the incident, but he hit me really hard. I had a dead leg for a few laps but after that I felt not too bad."

Crutchlow finished the race in eleventh, with Hernandez 13th.