Doha - Italian Andrea Dovizioso fended off Honda's MotoGP champion Marc Marquez at the last corner to win a dramatic season-opening Qatar Grand Prix for Ducati on Sunday, repeating last year's success.
Dovizioso, who also battled Marquez down to the line a year ago under the Losail circuit floodlights, beat his Spanish rival by a mere 0.023 seconds.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow finished third for LCR Honda, a step up from last year's fourth, after Suzuki's Alex Rins made a late mistake and opened the door to the podium.
Italian veteran Valentino Rossi, now 40 years old, completed the top five -- just 0.6 adrift of Dovizioso -- after starting 14th for Yamaha.
"It was a strange race," said Dovizioso, who made a quick getaway from the front row while Yamaha's pole-sitter Maverick Vinales was swallowed up by the field and ended up seventh. "It was difficult to manage the tyres.