Bastianini’s factory Ducati debut got off to a nightmare start but he was knocked off his bike by Marini, a fellow Ducati rider, in the first-ever sprint race of the new format.

Bastianini broke a shoulder blade and will miss at least Sunday’s full-length race and the Argentina MotoGP next weekend.

Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao - Sprint Race Results

VR46 rider Marini was asked if he emerged unscathed and replied: “For me, nothing. It’s a pity. I just made my line. I was leaning one degree more to avoid any contact with Enea. And I lost the front.

“Then my bike hit him. It’s a pity also for him. These things can happen.

“It’s always a problem. I am sorry for this. 

“It was a racing incident. I hope he can be well. I went to his box but he wasn’t yet back from the medical centre.”

Joan Mir was hit with a long lap penalty for his contact with Fabio Quartararo, but Marini escaped any punishment for clashing with Bastianini.

He had said about Race Direction: “If they want to hear from me, no problem. I am here.

“There was no contact between riders. One rider crashed, the bike hit another rider. This is impossible to avoid.”

The controversial inclusion of sprint races into a new format for the 2023 MotoGP season has already seen Pol Espargaro and Bastianini suffer injuries in different sessions. They will each miss next weekend in Argentina, if not longer.

Marini spoke about the hazards of the Saturday sprint race: “From the inside, it’s a jungle. Everybody knows they can be on the podium, but everybody knows there are only a few laps to make it.

“It’s harder than the long race, for me. It is a more difficult race. If you are 100% with your bike and confidence on a Sunday, it is easier.

“There is no panic, but you must rush. Everybody tries to overtake. It starts to become dangerous.

“But this is the format. This year, we have to do this.

“Everybody is smart enough to do a good sprint race in the future.

“It’s a bigger risk for everybody because 12 riders are fighting for the podium instead of six.”