The race was eventually decided in Dovizioso’s favour at the last corner, just as it was at the corresponding event last year.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow completed a close podium in his first race since last October’s serious ankle injuries as just 0.6s covered the top five riders, from Dovizioso to Italy’s Valentino Rossi, who started from 13th.
Australian Jack Miller’s seat foam came loose early in the race and he had to throw it off the bike, and later retired.
French MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo was devastated to stall on the grid, forcing him to start from pit lane instead of fifth, but mounted a strong comeback to finish 16th.
Britain’s Bradley Smith was making his Aprilia race debut as a wild-card and he also DNFed.
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RESULTS FROM QATAR:
- Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP19) 42m 36.902s
- Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 42m 36.925s
- Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 42m 37.222s
- Alex Rins ESP Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 42m 37.359s
- Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 42m 37.502s
- Danilo Petrucci ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP19) 42m 39.222s
- Maverick Viñales ESP Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 42m 39.383s
- Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 42m 41.990s
- Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) 42m 44.308s
- Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 42m 46.538s
- Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT (YZR-M1) 42m 46.549s
- Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 42m 49.676s
- Jorge Lorenzo ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 42m 51.209s
- Andrea Iannone ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 42m 51.251s
- Johann Zarco FRA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 42m 51.995s
- Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT (YZR-M1) 42m 52.807s
- Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) 42m 53.279s
- Karel Abraham CZE Reale Avintia (Desmosedici GP18) 42m 59.874s
- Tito Rabat ESP Reale Avintia (Desmosedici GP18) 42m 59.941s
- Hafizh Syahrin MAL Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) 43m 20.144s
Bradley Smith GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) DNF
Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (Desmosedici GP19) DNF
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Pramac Ducati (Desmosedici GP18) DNF