Johann Zarco says he is sorry for causing Dani Pedrosa to crash out on the opening lap of MotoGP's Argentine Grand Prix by forcing the Honda rider on to a wet patch.
Second-place starter Pedrosa was an early casualty at Termas de Rio Hondo, the victim of a highside at Turn 13 as Tech 3 Yamaha's Zarco attempted to muscle his way by in the battle for third.
While the two did not make contact, Zarco's move put Pedrosa on to a part of the track outside the racing line that was still wet from an earlier shower, giving him no chance of staying upright on his slick-shod Honda.
Zarco explained afterwards he was keen to not allow early leader Jack Miller and Marc Marquez, who was later penalised for illegally taking his grid slot after stalling his bike, to escape.
"Marc and Jack were in front and Dani in third position and I felt I had a better pace and I didn't want to miss this pace from Jack and Marc," said the Frenchman.
"With this tricky condition I tried to do that [overtake] in Turn 13. There was one good line, for the laptime, and another line inside, still dry, so [I was] able to try the manoeuvre.
"I took this decision and I went wide to at least overtake Dani, even if I was going to lose a few positions because then Alex [Rins] immediately overtook me. Dani crashed, sorry for him.
"The wet patches on the outside, we knew they are there, but if you want to overtake you have to try, and when I did it on my place it was dry and I even did not touch him."
Pedrosa will be examined in Barcelona on Tuesday for a possible fracture of his right scaphoid.
“There’s not much to say about the race," said Pedrosa in a brief statement. "My race ended before I finished the first lap. Race Direction needs to look after every rider’s safety.
"Right now I have a lot of pain in my right wrist. I’ll have it checked again in Barcelona on Tuesday.”
Zarco went on to finish second behind Cal Crutchlow, but felt a maiden MotoGP win had been possible when Marquez served his ride-through.
"All the weekend I was crossing my fingers to be able to fight for a victory," said Zarco. "[Marquez] was much stronger but he had a complicated race.
"From the moment he went to the pitlane [for his penalty] I was thinking it was possible to win, so I stay focused for that.
"Last lap I was close, but now I heard that Cal was easier than me managing better the race, so second is just fantastic after a stressful Sunday."
Additional reporting by Federico Faturos