But in the Honda rider’s second race since surgery on the right ankle, Stoner soldiered on and was catching the leaders from third position in Sepang before the race was red flagged due to bad weather.
Stoner, 27, now heads to Phillip Island this weekend to attempt winning his sixth consecutive Australian MotoGP in his swansong from the sport.
“I was considering not taking part in the rain at all as the risks were very high,” Stoner said to the press following the race.

“If I had come off the bike again and hit my ankle, it would have been game over for the rest of the season.

“As the race progressed I slowly got my confidence back.

“I slowly began to catch the front two but unfortunately ran out of time as they red-flagged the race.”

Stoner has announced he’ll retire at the end of this season, wrapping up with the final race of the season in Valencia on November 11.

Image via Getty