Doha - Italy's Andrea Dovizioso won a thrilling season-opening Qatar MotoGP on Sunday, surviving a last lap challenge from world champion Marc Marquez.
Dovizioso, on a Ducati, re-took the lead on the final bend of the 22-lap night race to record a notable victory on a track where he had finished as runner-up for the past three years.
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi came home in third place on a Yamaha.
Dovizioso, who finished runner-up in the world championship last year, first snatched the lead with five laps to go from long-time leader France's Johann Zarco, who started on pole.
The Italian held off Marquez, on a Honda, until the dramatic last lap, before taking the chequered flag and his first 25 points of the season.
"It was a perfect race, perfect weekend," said Dovizioso. "We worked very well."
Spaniard Marquez said he tried to push Dovizioso "100 per cent".
Nine-time world champion Rossi said he was happy with a podium finish, adding he wanted to follow it up with more this year.
"I expect more than last year," said Rossi. "Thanks to my team, thanks to Yamaha and we try to continue this."
France's Zarco eventually trailed in eight, despite leading for two-thirds of the race.