Rossi's Motegi crash sequence

The GOAT goes down in Japan

VALENTINO ROSSI crashed on the first lap of the MotoGP at Motegi.

The Ducati rider was squeezed by Lorenzo as the packed bunched up into the first left-hander. Rossi tucked the front and slid into the path of Spies, who - judging by these photos - was lucky to stay on.

Rossi described the collision with the two Yamaha riders: "We were a little unlucky. Unfortunately, Lorenzo went onto the grass slightly in Turn 1, and in the next turn he moved suddenly to get his trajectory right. He didn’t see me because I was slightly behind. When he touched me, it pushed me into Spies, who touched my front brake lever. It was normal racing contact, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Spies re-joined the race but Rossi called it a day. Let's hope that engine didn't lunch itself; Rossi doesn't need another pitlane start.

Rossi tucked the front but Lorenzo gets away with it.

Spies sits in the firing line of Rossi's errant Ducati

Priceless Ducati slides into the gravel. Spies just exiting the shot on the right.

That's torn it. Rossi's airbag suit inflates while the Desmosedici takes a battering.

Rossi in a dust cloud. But not a radioactive one, perhaps?

Rossi ran to his Ducati but left it in the gravel once marshals arrived.