Marc Marquez won a thrilling MotoGP season-opener in Qatar after holding off a charging tenth-on-the-grid Valentino Rossi by just 0.259s.

Rossi and Marquez (who was using the harder rear tyre) exchanged the lead repeatedly in the closing stages, before a mistake free final lap from Marquez kept Rossi at bay. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium.

Jorge Lorenzo, winner in Qatar for the past two seasons, rocketed into the lead at turn one - then crashed out after losing the front of his Yamaha on entry to the penultimate corner.

14 laps later Stefan Bradl suffered the same fate while leading, leaving a front group of Rossi, Marquez, Pedrosa, Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista.

Smith and Bautista both fell, leaving Pedrosa to claim a safe third and helping Aleix Espargaro take a career best fourth place on the new Open class Forward Yamaha.

CLICK HERE for pictures from the grand prix...

1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 40.561s
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 42m 40.820s | +0.259s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 43.931s | +3.370s
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 42m 52.184s | +11.623s
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 42m 52.720s | +12.159s
6. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 43m 9.087s | +28.526s
7. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 43m 13.154s | +32.593s
8. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 43m 13.189s | +32.628s
9. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 20.108s | +39.547s
10. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 23.921s | +43.360s
11. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 43m 27.156s | +46.595s
12. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 27.249s | +46.688s
13. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 43m 31.142s | +50.581s
14. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 43m 43.688s | +1m 3.127s
15. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 43m 54.947s | +1m 14.386s
16. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 44m 13.154s | +1m 32.593s
17. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia) 44m 16.646s | +1m 36.085s
Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) DNF
Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) DNF
Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) DNF
Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) DNF
Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) DNF
Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) DNF

Blue = Factory - Control ECU hardware, unique manufacturer software.
20 litres of race fuel, 5 engine changes for the season. All engines identical throughout the year within the same team (development freeze). Black = Factory (with concessions) - Control ECU hardware, unique manufacturer software.
Currently only Ducati, but technically applicable to any Factory manufacturer that has not achieved a dry win the previous year, or any new MotoGP manufacturer.
24 litres of race fuel, 12 engine changes for the season. No engine development freeze, plus the same softer rear tyre allocation and extra testing opportunities as the Open category. Fuel to be reduced to 22 litres should Ducati achieve a race win, two second places or three (dry) podiums during 2014. If Ducati claims three wins this season they will also lose the softer rear tyre. All other concessions confirmed until start of single ECU era in 2016. Red = Open - Full control ECU system, hardware and software.
24 litres of race fuel, 12 engine changes for the season. No engine development freeze, a softer rear tyre allocation and more testing opportunities relative to the Factory option.

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