DOHA (Reuters) – Italian Andrea Dovizioso fended off Honda’s MotoGP champion Marc Marquez at the last corner to win a dramatic season-opening Qatar Grand Prix for Ducati on Sunday.
Dovizioso, also last year’s winner under the Losail circuit floodlights in another desert duel that went down to the line, beat his Spanish rival by a mere 0.023 seconds at the chequered flag.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow finished third for LCR Honda, an improvement on last year’s fourth, after Suzuki’s Alex Rins made a late mistake and opened the door to the podium.
Italian veteran Valentino Rossi, now 40 years old, completed the top five — just 0.6 adrift of Dovizioso — after starting 14th for Yamaha.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ian Chadband)