March 18 (Reuters) - Italian Andrea Dovizioso won MotoGP’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix for Ducati on Sunday after a thrilling duel down to the line with Honda’s reigning champion Marc Marquez.
Valentino Rossi, the Italian great starting his 23rd grand prix season at the age of 39 and with a new two year Yamaha contract freshly signed, joined them on the podium at the floodlit desert Circuit.
Frenchman Johann Zarco started from pole position for the non-works Tech3 Yamaha team and led until five laps from the finish, when Dovizioso and Marquez made their move and pulled away.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was fourth for LCR Honda, with Zarco dropping to eighth. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)