Vinales wins dramatic season opener

Maverick Vinales won a delayed MotoGP season opening Qatar Grand Prix, holding out Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to win on his Yamaha debut.

A light shower hit just three minutes before the scheduled start of the race, and following a pair of delays it finally got under way 45 minutes late, with the distance reduced to 20 laps.

Vinales started from pole position and dropped to fifth early, but stormed back into contention in the second half of the race and then kept the Ducati at bay to start life with his new team in style.

He displayed everything Ducati would have expected from their new recruit – composure, skill, desire and courage.

25✊? ? @marcoguidetti62

A post shared by Maverick Viñales (@maverickvinales25) on Mar 25, 2017 at 5:19am PDT

While Vinales was extremely impressive, the race will also be remembered for the performance of Tech3 Yamaha's rookie Johann Zarco.

The Frenchman lined up fourth, but forced his way past Vinales into second at the first corner and then into the lead with a move on Andrea Iannone later on the first lap.

Zarco, who changed to a soft rear tyre on the grid, strolled away at the front of the field, and led by 1.640 seconds after six laps.

However that was the end of his charge, crashing at Turn 2 the next time around.

Exactly who finished where can be seen below:

1. Maverick Viñales

2. Andrea Dovizioso

3. Valentino Rossi

4. Marc Marquez

5. Dani Pedrosa

6. Aleix Espargaro

7. Scott Redding

8. Jack Miller

9. Alex Rins

10. Jonas Folger

11. Jorge Lorenzo

12. Loris Baz

13. Hector Barbera

14. Karel Abraham

15. Tito Rabat

16. Pol Espargaro

17. Bradley Smith

18. Sam Lowes

Did not finish

Danilo Petrucci

Andrea Iannone

Alvaro Bautista

Johann Zarco

Cal Crutchlow