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Lorenzo wins season-opening Qatar MotoGP
AFP
05:00 AEST Mon Apr 8 2013
Yamaha's Spanish world champion Jorge Lorenzo. (Getty)
Yamaha's Spanish world champion Jorge Lorenzo. (Getty)

Yamaha's Spanish world champion Jorge Lorenzo won the season-opening Qatar MotoGP staged under floodlights at the Losail circuit here on Sunday.

Pole-sitter Lorenzo was followed across the line by nine-time former champion Valentino Rossi on his first race for Yamaha since returning to his old team from Ducati.

Last year's Moto2 champion Marc Marquez, on his MotoGP debut, took third for Honda ahead of his teammate and last season's runner-up Dani Pedrosa.

"I knew it was going to complicated. I'm happy that Valentino came back in second place, it's good for Yamaha," Lorenzo told BBC television.

Marquez was thrilled at his performance.

"I was racing my hero (Rossi) - it was a great battle with Valentino. For my first MotoGP that wasn't too bad!"

Rossi was also pleased with his showing asfter two frustrating years with Ducati.

"That was great fun, I think second is best for me today as Jorge was perfect.

"I made a mistake at the start with Pedrosa.

"I wanted this podium, this was my target since last November. The bike was fantastic, I had a great battle with Marc."