Maverick Vinales prevailed at the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar in the opening race of the championship, as Yamaha claimed first and third on Sunday.
Andrea Dovizioso held the lead for much of the race but finished second, with icon Valentino Rossi grabbing third after an exceptional ride.
Marc Marquez could only claim fourth, and the world champion did not have the pace to challenge for victory.
The start of the event was delayed for safety reasons as rain threatened the grip on the track, and the race was reduced to 20 laps as a result.
MotoGP highlighted the delighted winner:
Here are the final standings for the race:
After additional warm-up laps, it was Andrea Iannone who made the cleanest start as he dashed past Vinales in pole.
However, Johann Zarco burst into the lead, pushing his machine to the limit as he carved out an advantage.
Marquez established himself in second as the positions of the field interchanged, but Iannone stayed close to the reigning champion.
The riders remained cautious around the corners of the drying track, but there were no accidents in the opening moments.
Zarco was quicker than anyone in the race in his debut, and his sheer pace left the current champion in his wake.
The leader’s splits were hugely impressive as Marquez chased, but the champion simply could not close the gap between himself and the former Moto2 kingpin.
MotoGP highlighted the race emerging behind Zarco:
Cal Crutchlow crashed out as he lost control on the tricky Qatar track, ending his hopes, but the most dramatic moment of the day came as Zarco hit the floor and slid out of contention through the gravel.
As a result, Dovizioso took over the lead as the crowd remained in shock at Zarco‘s exit, and the race became an open affair.
MotoGP shared the moment the leader exited the race:
Marquez remained under pressure from Iannone, and the pair chased Dovizioso in a dramatic final 10 laps.
Iannone continued to sprint hard and lost his front end. The Italian crashed out to leave the existing front two with the chance to duel.
MotoGP once again shared the action:
Vinales replicated his pace from practice as he worked his way forward, and the pole rider was soon on the back wheel of second-placed Marquez.
Surprisingly, Marquez immediately lost two places as Vinales and Rossi overtook the Catalan racer.
Rossi recorded his quickest lap of the race in the final stages (1 minute, 56.398 seconds), saving his best for the last seven laps.
Vinales wrestled the lead as Dovizioso lost significant grip and his front tyre began to degrade at an alarming rate.
However, Dovizioso continued to show heart in an exciting race, pushing for the lead with Rossi in his slipstream.
The Ducati rider simply would not give up as he pursued Vinales, but the threat of Rossi was beginning to shape the race.
The 38-year-old legend was producing a performance level many believed he would not in this event, and his experience saw him ride a great strategy.
Honda’s Marquez was out of contention in the final three laps, and he simply did not have the pace to threaten the very front.
Vinales defended the lead in the final lap, as Dovizioso failed to make a quality move to pass, and it was the Yamaha that swept past the chequered flag to conclude the action.