Andrea Dovizioso was left to curse a series of misfortunes that ended in retirement from his home MotoGP race at Mugello.

A day after qualifying third, Dovizioso's weekend pace suggested he could fight for second position behind runaway winner Jorge Lorenzo.

However, his issues began first thing in morning warm-up when he crashed on his out lap because of a cold tyre and was subsequently unable to set a time.

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"Today started in a very unusual and bad way," he said on Sunday afternoon. "I crashed on the out-lap because of a cold tyre this morning. The mechanics had to make a really important job and I'm really happy with my team, because they prepared the bike in a perfect way for the race and I was really concentrating to get a good result in Mugello."

Going into the race, Dovizioso made the early running into the tight San Donato but was powerless to prevent Lorenzo escaping. Four laps in and he knew there was a problem as he began to lose drive and feel a vibration on the rear.

The eventual reason for this? His rear sprocket was breaking apart and gradually losing teeth, forcing him out of a frantic five-way fight for second on lap 14.

"I start very well and my speed was quite good. Not as good as Lorenzo, but very close. But we were very unlucky. We had a problem with the sprocket. It was destroyed. After four laps the teeth started to break off. It got worse and worse, the drop [in performance] was doubling lap-by-lap and I couldn't accelerate. I couldn't continue. It was quite dangerous so I had to stop.

"[It was a] Very unlucky situation because we had the speed to fight for the podium. For the championship it was very important and to make the result at this track was important. But we were very unlucky so we couldn't make something different.

"The team didn't make something wrong. It was a problem with the sprocket. We have to understand why, because we can't lose a race for the material in the sprocket."

Despite the DNF Dovizioso remains third in the championship standings but he now sits a sizable 35 points behind leader Valentino Rossi. What's more he lost further ground to man of the moment Lorenzo, whom he now trails by 29 points.

When asked what Lorenzo is doing so well in this rich vein of current form Dovizioso said his staggering level of consistency from the start can't be matched.

"Today, the last race, the race before - it become really, really difficult to fight with him because he is strong in every area when he is riding like this.

"He can be fast in the first lap. He can be a little bit faster, but the main point is his consistency. I mean his fastest lap wasn't amazing, but he is able to keep [the lap time] - it looks from the outside - in an easy way. And that is the difference.

"Because in the first few laps the lap time was very similar between me, Marc and Jorge. But we couldn't continue with that rhythm."