Martin kept his nerve off the line and shot off to lead around Turn 1, the Spaniard unaware that he would actually be staying there for the majority of the race as his incredible Sunday began as it meant to go on.
Behind him, Zarco slotted into second but Qatar GP winner Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) went backwards, and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) propelled himself from P12 to P4 in an absolutely stunning start.
Calm and composed
Approaching half race distance, Martin was still leading, and looking as cool, calm and collected as ever.
Just behind him though, tensions were starting to reach boiling point in the heat of the desert. Turn 10 saw Mir make a close move on Miller, contact made between the two, and the Ducati was wide.
As the last lap dawned, Quartararo’s lead was 0.7 seconds and it was El Diablo’s to lose, with Martin leading Zarco in the fight to complete the podium.
Vinales ran wide at Turn 1, allowing Rins to slide on through in the battle for P4 too, so it looked like two Frenchmen and a rookie on the podium.
History is made
Quartararo kept it pitch perfect to hammer round Losail for the last time in 2021, pulling out a few more tenths to cross the line for his first factory Yamaha win by a second and a half.
History was made — 8.928sec was the gap between winner Quartararo and 15th place Oliveira in the closest top 15 finish MotoGP has ever seen, with Doha delivering a stunner under the floodlights.