Jules Cluzel has apologised for causing the accident that robbed both himself and Kev Coghlan of a shot at victory in the second World Supersport round of the season at Motorland Aragon, the Frenchman insisting gearbox issues were to blame.
The pair were indulging in a fierce battle for the lead with just four laps of the race remaining when Cluzel got it wrong under braking and tagged the back of Coghlan's Yamaha.
A particularly frustrating occurrence for Coghlan, who was looking for his first WSS win having started the race from a maiden pole position, the Scot would remount to take fifth at the chequered flag.
Phillip Island race winner Cluzel, however, was forced to retire his Yakhnich MV Agusta on the spot, but while he was deeply sorry for the accident, he maintains it was out of his hands.
“It was bad start. Step by step I tried to regain positions without any risk. I could get into the leading group, but lap after lap Kev Coghlan blocked me on the straight every time while Van der Mark pushed. I made a little mistake and Kev overtook me.
“It seemed to me the gap was not so big so I decided to attack. But as soon as I turned the first gear, I realised that the error with the gearbox we have found on Saturday had its effect. The bike lost its stability. I tried to rectify the situation but it hasn't been already possible to avoid the contact with Kev.
“I'm very disappointed with lost points. We could improve our position in the championship. I've already apologised to Coghlan and made it one more time. We'll solve this problem till Assen and repair the omission next stage.”