March 26, 2017 / 7:58 PM / 8 months ago

Motorcycling-Vinales wins delayed and shortened MotoGP opener

March 26 (Reuters) - 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.

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.

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. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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