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Lorenzo returns to winning form in Qatar

Jorge Lorenzo has started his World Championship defense with a convincing win in the Qatar Grand Prix.

The Movistar Yamaha rider was joined on the podium by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo started the race on pole position - and got off to a dream start, by taking off into the lead from the outset.

However, the Spaniard could not contain the raw speed of the Italian duo of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, as the straght line speed of the Ducati was too much for Lorenzo's Yamaha to keep up with.

The Ducatis looked to dominate the race, with Iannone leading the way - but after being pressured by his teammate, Iannone suffered a fall on Turn 13 and Dovizioso pushed into the lead.

With Iannone out of the race, Lorenzo began his push for the lead - and on Lap 9, the Spaniard took control of the race as he passed Dovizioso and maintained the lead for the remainder of the race.

Two-time World Champion Marc Marquez was also impressive - as he patiently worked his way through the field and into third position, after slipping as low as fifth.

With five laps remaining, the Repsol Honda rider made his move on Dovizioso and pushed into second position, with his sights set on Lorenzo.

This was short-lived for Marquez, as he could not contain the speed of Dovizioso's Ducati, who re-gained second position - while Lorenzo disappeared into the distance and cruised to victory.

Valentino Rossi's Yamaha finished the race in fourth, followed by the Honda of Dani Pedrosa - while Team Suzuki's Maverick Vinales finished in sixth position.

The Monster Yamaha duo of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finished seventh and eighth respectivelt, with Avintia's Hector Barbera and Octo Pramac's Scott Redding rounding out the top ten.

Australian Jack Miller finished in 14th.