Marco Bezzecchi worked his way forwards from last in opening practice to qualify as the top rookie in 15th place for the Qatar MotoGP season opener.

But unfortunately for the VR46 Ducati rider, he would be the only newcomer not to reach the chequered flag, falling from 13th place on lap 7 of 22.

At the time, Bezzecchi's GP21 was six places ahead of next best rookie Darryn Binder, having already set a best race lap that remained quicker than team-mate Luca Marini on the latest GP22.

"A good race until the crash," Bezzecchi said. "It was not a perfect start, but I managed to be fast from the first laps.

"Unfortunately, I had never done so many laps behind someone in the slipstream, I made a mistake when braking at the last corner and I used too much rear brake. I'm not completely familiar with the bike yet.

"A real pity, but it is still part of our apprenticeship path. I am happy with the work done with the team and with Ducati: we will be back on track in Indonesia to score the points there."

Tech3 KTM's Remy Gardner went on to finish as the top rookie, claiming the final point for 15th place. Binder (RNF Yamaha) was 16th, Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) 17th and Raul Fernandez (Tech3 KTM) 18th.

Marini, who was five places behind Bezzecchi when he fell, finished a frustrating weekend in 13th place.

"I couldn't expect much from the race considering how the weekend went," admitted Marini, who qualified 17th. "I can only say that I am satisfied because we solved the problem we've had and I found the usual feelings I had in the pre-season.

"We have to keep working, especially on the electronics, something is missing in terms of performance to be there with the group. Today it was important to finish the race, collect info and test all the maps to do well in Indonesia.

"This is a new bike, we have a lot to do, the Championship is long and we need to stay calm."

The race was won by Enea Bastianini, riding the same GP21 as Bezzecchi at the Gresini team.