Niccolo Antonelli held back in the lead group before making his presence felt in the final corners, using his momentum to push ahead by a tiny margin to secure the first victory of the 2016 Moto3 season in Qatar.

The Ongetta-Rivacold rider who caused further damage to his existing collarbone injury in practice, rode through pain to rejoin the leading group, which had swelled to seven at the start of the final lap. He then followed leader Brad Binder but pulled to the side for clear track to the line which allowed him to take the flag - ahead by just 0.007s.

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Binder had lead for most of the race battling all-comers for the lead, especially Romano Fenati, who's cornering kept him in contention, but again missed out on a first race win. The South African remained positive at starting the season on the podium.

Three different manufacturers complete the rostrum as Francesco Bagnaia pulled out all the stops on his much altered Aspar Mahindra to slipstream behind Binder to secure third.

Fenati just missed out on a top three finish after giving away his great advantage in the corners at the start of the final lap by running wide on his Sky Racing VR46 machine when it mattered most, he did however keep his young team-mate at bay with Nicolo Bulega sixth after a last lunge for the podium didn't pay off.

The Italian rookie, joining as the Spanish championship Moto3 champion, impressed throughout, catching the lead group to be in contention after the first few laps and briefly leading a championship grand prix for the first time on his way to the top rookie finish.

The Sky riders sandwiched Enea Bastianini who only came into the lead group on the last lap before taking fifth for Gresini.

Seventh went to Estrella Galicia's Jorge Navarro, he held off Livio Loi who lapped the fastest but struggled to catch the leaders for too long, leaving the RW Racing GP rider unable to make an impact.

Philipp Oettl fought his way through the middle order to improve to ninth, Jakub Kornfeil completes the top ten for Drive M7 SIC.

Also in the points were Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) in eleventh, being handed a photo finish over rookie Joan Mir (Leopard Racing).

Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) faded to 13th, Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 14th on his debut arriving in the championship as Red Bull Rookie champion and fellow rookie Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia) collected the final point.

Maria Herrera just missed out in sixteenth for MH6 Laglisse, still quite an achievement for a team who were initially not due to take part just before the final test.

It was another tough day for the Peugeot MC Saxoprint team with last seasons winner Alexis Masbou 24th and British rider John McPhee 27th.



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