Alvaro Bautista said there was nothing he could do to avoid the startline crash that took his Suzuki, both factory Ducatis and Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet out of the Valencia Grand Prix on the opening lap.
A brush between Andrea Dovizioso's Honda and Bautista sent the Suzuki into Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and de Puniet. While Dovizioso continued to finish third, the other four riders were out in the spot.
"In the first corner we all arrived together and I was between Andrea and Valentino," Bautista explained. "Unfortunately Andrea hit my front wheel with his rear tyre and I couldn't do anything to save the crash.
"The worst thing was that I hit three other riders and they crashed as well. I am sorry for them and also sorry for the team and all the fans."
Dovizioso insisted he had not triggered the crash.
"I just felt somebody touch me and I think it was Bautista," said the Italian. "But everything happened on my right side so I couldn't see anything of what happened or how. I don't know who made a mistake. I just tried to overtake Valentino, that's it."
De Puniet was particularly frustrated by the accident, having qualified a season-best fourth.
"I'm angry, disappointed, and sorry," said the Frenchman. "This has really been an unfortunate season. Bautista's fall caused my crash and three other crashes.
"I was convinced that I would've had a good race. I wanted to end this season in the best way possible."
But Suzuki team boss Paul Denning was sanguine about the crash, saying it was a racing accident and that he was simply relieved there were no injuries as the MotoGP paddock continued to mourn Marco Simoncelli following his fatal crash in the Malaysian GP a fortnight ago.
"It's obviously a very disappointing way to end the season, but frankly speaking I'm not particularly upset because all four riders involved are okay and we've seen recently how dangerous that type of accident can be - so we can all be very thankful that all the guys escaped unharmed," said Denning.
"I don't think the crash was anybody's fault, it was just too many bikes arriving at one bit of Tarmac, at differing speeds, on a slippery track - it's racing and it can happen."