Moto3 was as hectic as ever as the lightweight class got the racing action under way at the floodlit Losail track, with Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Luis Salom taking the win after timing his push to the front perfectly.
Spaniard Salom achieved his second career win after pulling out a 0.4 second gap which was enough to see him lead over the line, ahead of a photo finish for second.
Coming out on top was Team Calvo’s Maverick Vinales by the slightest of margins, riding with painkillers as he is still troubled by his injury to his ring finger sustained in the final pre-season test. Saying in parc ferme after the race that he was able to push more in the latter stages as he learnt to deal with the pain he beat last years top rookie Alex Rins by the slimmest of margins.
Rins completed the podium by was given a run for his money by his team-mate at Estrella Galicia Alex Marquez who on catching the leading trio also lead the pack for a spell.
Jonas Folger was also battling at the front for the Aspar team but faded in the later stages and crossed the line in fifth, continuing the KTM dominance on his Kalex KTM.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin showed a return to the fighting form he displayed at the end of the 2012 season as he pushed his way up to sixth for the Red Bull KTM squad.
Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira was tfirst non-KTM finisher, riding his much improved Mahindra into seventh ahead of Arthur Sissis, with whom he enjoyed a race long tangle for position. The only other non-KTM to grace the top ten was Oliveira’s Mahindra team-mate class veteran Efren Vazquez in tenth.
Also making the top ten was Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo in ninth position.
British rider Danny Webb was eleventh for Ambrogio Racing just one place ahead of his colleague Brad Binder in 12th.
Completing the points scorers were Jasper Iwema in 13th and Jakub Kornfeil in 14h after an eventful race. The final point went to Romano Fenati in fifteenth, dashing the hopes he had of repeating his electirc second in Qatar in 2012.
Ana Carrasco finished 20th in her debut Moto2 race.
Moto3 Qatar Race Result:
1. Luis Salom Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 26.859
2. Maverick Viñales Team Calvo (KTM) 38m 27.276
3. Alex Rins Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 38m 27.282
4. Alex Marquez Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 38m 27.560
5. Jonas Folger Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 38m 27.775
6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 44.348
7. Miguel Oliveira Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 38m 44.425
8. Arthur Sissis Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 46.214
9. Niklas Ajo Avant Tecno (KTM) 38m 55.825
10. Efren Vazquez Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 38m 55.854
11. Danny Webb Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 38m 56.299
12. Brad Binder Ambrogio Racing (Suter Honda) 38m 56.358
13. Jasper Iwema RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 39m 6.075
14. Alexis Masbou Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 39m 6.274
15. Romano Fenati San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 39m 6.310
16. Jack Miller Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 39m 6.656
17. Philipp Oettl Paddock TT Motion Events (Kalex KTM) 39m 17.705
18. Alessandro Tonucci La Fonte Tascaracing (Honda) 39m 17.952
19. Toni Finsterbusch Kiefer Racing (Kalex KTM) 39m 18.077
20. Ana Carrasco Team Calvo (KTM) 39m 18.125
21. Juanfran Guevara CIP Moto3 (TSR Honda) 39m 18.188
22. Jakub Kornfeil Redox RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 39m 20.604
23. Francesco Bagnaia San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 39m 21.550
24. Matteo Ferrari Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 39m 21.807
25. Florian Alt Kiefer Racing (Kalex KTM) 39m 22.095
26. Eric Granado Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 39m 30.460
27. Hyuga Watanabe La Fonte Tascaracing (Honda) 39m 49.899
28. Lorenzo Baldassarri GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 (FTR Honda) 39m 50.037