Yamaha MotoGP

Vinales wins delayed and shortened MotoGP opener

Vinales wins delayed and shortened MotoGP opener
By Reuters

26/03/2017 at 21:54Updated 26/03/2017 at 22:17

Maverick Vinales won a rain-delayed and shortened Qatar MotoGP season-opener on Sunday in a triumphant Yamaha debut for the young Spaniard.

Italian Andrea Dovizioso was second for Ducati with compatriot Valentino Rossi, at 38 years of age, back on the podium in third place for Yamaha under the floodlights.

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Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez finished fourth on an eventful evening that saw 22-year-old compatriot Vinales drop from pole to fifth on the opening lap before making a stirring comeback for his second career victory.

Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory)

Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory) AFP

The season's only night race started 45 minutes late after earlier rain, with plenty of discussion among the riders who did two warm-up laps before Vinales took his position at the front of the grid.

The race distance was shortened to 20 laps.