MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez won the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix today after a thrilling duel with Italian Valentino Rossi over the closing laps of the floodlit race.

Starting from pole position only six weeks after he broke his leg in a training accident, the 21-year-old Spaniard crossed the finish line 0.259 of a second ahead of Yamaha's 35-year-old Italian great.

Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, Marquez's team mate, finished third at the Losail circuit outside Doha.