Quartararo was sent flying from his Yamaha when he hit the back of Marquez as the eight-time world champion saved a slide on the exit of Turn 3.

“I had a small moment, which you have many times with a cold tyre,” explained Marquez, who was making his racing comeback from a fourth operation on his right arm.

“I lost the rear a little bit and closed the gas, but it was not a very big moment.

“I saw the images and the problem is that Fabio was super close, as is normal at the start.

“So it was a race incident, and very unlucky.”

Where will Marc Marquez finish on his COMEBACK? | Aragon MotoGP Crash.net 2022

Marquez denied that he had been riding especially aggressively in the opening turns.

“My mentality was the same as I said all weekend: Try to get kilometres, try to finish the race, and we didn't get the target. I just did one lap,” he said.

“The start was amazing, but just instinct. I went outside, and when I exited the first corner, I was sixth.

“It was something I didn't expect but then, I said, ‘OK, we will see’, but after just two corners everything went in the wrong way.”

Marquez: ‘I felt it was locking, everything became crazy’

But having remained upright after the Quartararo impact, more drama was to follow just a few corners later.

A broken piece of Quartararo’s fairing became jammed in Marquez’s ride-height device, causing his bike to veer to the side on the exit of Turn 7 - creating an impact with Nakagami.

“I felt something strange in Turn 5 and I said, ‘what's going on?’ But when I went into turn 6-7, I felt OK. Then in Turn 7, Nakagami overtook me on the inside and went wide. So then I was inside of him, already a little bit in front, and I engaged the holeshot [ride-height device, on the exit].

“As soon as I engaged the holeshot, I felt like the rear wheel was locking. I checked very carefully the images, and you can see that a piece [of bodywork] is going out from the fairing. And then when I felt it was locking, everything became crazy, and the bike had that rear lock, going to the left side, and no torque.

“After that incident, I retired [on the pits]. But I didn't retire because of the Taka incident, I retired because of the Fabio incident. Both actions were very unlucky for everything.”

Marquez: ‘My apologies to Taka and Fabio’

Some felt the Marquez-Nakagami collision showed why aerodynamics and ride-height devices should be restricted in MotoGP on safety grounds.

“I think the Fabio crash, device or no device, aerodynamics or no aerodynamics, will happen,” Marquez said. “Because it was completely a racing incident like we saw many times in the past.

“A small mistake from the front guy, the rider behind was planning to overtake me, was super close, that is normal and it happens.

“But the Nakagami incident, without the holeshot and the wings, for sure we would avoid it.

“Because when I engaged the holeshot is when I locked the rear wheel, because I had a piece of Fabio's fairing between the rear fender, in that area.

“Then Taka fell down because when we had the contact, I was also decreasing my speed because I had the mechanical problem. So it was a really unlucky action.”

Marquez was seen heading into the LCR pits to apologise shortly after retiring from the race and said he would also try to speak with Quartararo, whose title lead has been slashed from 30 to 11 points over Sunday’s runner-up Francesco Bagnaia.

“I spoke especially with Taka's team and apologised, because it was a real mechanical problem but if you just see it from outside, it looks like I went straight into Taka.

“Later I will try to speak with Fabio, who was in the Clinica Mobile, also with Taka.

“My apologies to him and Fabio."

Nakagami suffers right-hand damage

While Quartararo escaped with friction burns and abrasions to his chest, Nakagami's participation in this weekend's home Japanese Grand Prix could be in doubt.

"I had a good start, but then had an accident on lap one. I had contact with Marc and had a nasty crash, so I’m really disappointed," he said. "I’m now going to Barcelona to check the wound on the 4th and 5th fingers on my right hand. I will keep everyone updated and really appreciate all the support.

"I will try my best to recover and hopefully we can race at my home GP in Japan.”

‘People complain about Ducati, but Bastianini still has a title chance’

Meanwhile, asked for his opinion on the Bagnaia vs Bastianini - Ducati vs Ducati - victory battle, decided in the Gresini rider’s favour after a last-lap pass, Marquez said:

“I think it was a great fight. And Enea is riding really well, and normally is the strongest one now in the last laps.

“Many people complain about Ducati [not applying team orders today] but Enea still has a chance to win the title.

“As we saw today with Fabio - of course I was there in that action - but it was completely a racing incident, and can happen to Bagnaia or to Bastianini.”

Bastianini’s fourth win of the season has moved the young Italian to fourth in the standings and 48 points from Quartararo, with 125 points still available.

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, third on Sunday, currently splits the Ducati riders, sitting 17 points from Quartararo.