Having been taken out by another rider at the Australian MotoGP, it was Aleix Espargaro that initiated a collision with Alvaro Bautista at Sepang.

The pair tangled under braking at the start of the second lap.

"At Turn 1 on the second lap I went wide under braking and I touched Bautista. I couldn't control the bike and crashed," said Forward Yamaha rider Espargaro. "I'm really sorry for Alvaro as I have spoiled his race and also mine. Fortunately we are both well."

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Gresini Honda's Bautista stated: "I honestly don't know how to explain what happened: I passed Aleix Espargar? on the straight early in the second lap and I was in front of him braking for the first corner, on the inside; then, he suddenly closed the line, touching me, and we both went down.

"Fortunately we're fine, but I'm sorry for the team and for myself. Too bad, this is definitely not our season, we always have so many problems, now joined by this episode..."

While the incident has dropped Espargaro to eighth in the world championship, he at least had the consolation of having officially wrapped up top Open class rider honours. The Spaniard, who will join the returning factory Suzuki team next season, is 42 points ahead of Bautista's team-mate Scott Redding with only one round remaining.

"I'm happy we won the Open Championship," he said. "It's a fantastic achievement for myself and the team. This year we have achieved important results and had great satisfactions. I'd like to thank all my team for their hard work, Yamaha for their support, all the sponsors and of course all the guys that work also from the office."

Aleix is two points behind Bradley Smith and nine points from brother Pol heading into Valencia.