MotoGP: Valentino Rossi reveals who he would have bet on after finishing the Qatar Grand Prix | Others | Sports

But rookie Johann Zarco flew the first six laps and took the lead before crashing into turn two.

And while others struggled with the slippery conditions, Rossi was masterful, managing to bring his Yamaha bike home in third place behind pole sitters Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso.

“I’m pretty happy, of course,” said Rossi.

“If I had to bet on myself to get on the podium today, I would not have bet. Or 10 euros or so.

“But we never gave up. We tried the maximum.

“We tried three or four different settings this morning, but it was bad anyway, so I just said ‘go’.

“I don’t know what happened, but I enjoyed it.

“I was good at braking and I hope this race will help us understand enough to improve.”

Reigning world champion Marc Marquez finished third in the same race last year but only managed to finish fourth on his Honda machine, which appeared to be battling for power at times.

Meanwhile, Brit Scott Redding took his OCTO Pramac bike to seventh place, unlike fellow compatriot Cal Crutchlow, who crashed twice before being eliminated after just four laps.