Eugene Laverty’s magnificent run of nine consecutive points-scoring finishes in the MotoGP World Championship came to a disappointing end in Austria, where the Aspar Ducati rider was taken out on the final lap by Danilo Petrucci.
Laverty had been on course to finish in 11th place at the Red Bull Ring but following a collision with the Italian, he left empty handed.
Petrucci was handed a three-place grid penalty by the MotoGP Stewards Panel for next weekend’s Czech round at Brno for irresponsible riding. He later accepted the blame for the incident and apologised for his mistake.
Laverty, joint tenth in the standings, had secured his best grid position in the premier class after qualifying 11th on Saturday ahead of Dani Pedrosa.
The 30-year-old said Petrucci had been riding ‘too aggressively’.
“I was trying to salvage some points at the end and was fighting for 11th on the final lap with Petrucci. In my opinion, he was riding more than aggressively – it was too much. At Turn 3 he rode almost on the inside of me instead of overtaking. He hit me at the apex and then I re-passed him at Turn 4. I defended the line on the final corner, and again he did the same thing, coming up the inside, and I crashed.
“I'm not happy because it happened more than once from him,” Laverty added. “It's cost me 11th place and we worked too hard this weekend for someone to ruin things for us 200 metres before the line and all for a single point.”
Ducati’s Andrea Iannone won the race to earn the Italian manufacturer’s first MotoGP win since Casey Stoner was victorious at Phillip Island in 2010.
Iannone had the edge over team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo returning to the rostrum in third place on the Movistar Yamaha.
His team-mate, Valentino Rossi, was fourth ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda, who dislocated his shoulder on Saturday.