The Ducati rider arrived at Motegi 10 points behind leader and reigning champion Fabio Quartararo in the 2022 MotoGP standings, but he departed with an 18-point deficit.

Bagnaia dramatically crashed out and narrowly avoided contact with Quartararo - it is the fifth time he has retired early from a race (Qatar, France, Catalonia, Germany, Japan).

Jack Miller DOMINATES! Pecco Bagnaia BINS IT! | Japanese MotoGP 2022 Crash.net

“The mistake, in this moment I can’t do it. I have already crashed five times this year,” he reflected to BT Sport. “So, I have to think about it…”

Bagnaia knows the door is closing on a potential first MotoGP championship with only four races remaining, beginning in Thailand this weekend.

But he also knows that last week’s performance can’t be repeated if he has any hope of usurping Quartararo: “We have to understand why I was so slow in the wet, because in the next race the possibility of [wet conditions] is high.

“It will be very important to understand why I was struggling, why I didn’t have the pace.

“It is strange because normally I am competitive.”

He said about the moment his race ended in Japan: “I did a mistake, a huge mistake.

“I didn’t breathe in this moment. I tried to overtake Fabio, to have more possibility to also overtake Vinales, but it was too soon. I was too far behind with a big gap.

“I am happy that I didn’t touch Fabio during the crash. It would have been a disaster, in that case.

“The only good thing was that Aleix Espargaro had a problem and Fabio wasn’t so competitive so I didn’t lose too many points.”