Lorenzo started on pole and stormed off the line, leading into the turn one, but was unable to hold the lead as the Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, who passed him on the long Qatar start/stop straight line.
But as the two Italians jostled for the lead, Iannone crashed out on lap six, and – once Lorenzo passed Dovizioso three laps later – an opening win never looked in doubt.
Dovizioso held off a late challenge from Marc Marquez to take second, with Valentino Rossi fourth.
“To choose the right rear tyre was important. Lorenzo told crash.net
“I tried the hard one in warm-up but I didn’t get the right feeling. It was a risk to try the soft and finally it was good.
“I could make the fast lap. It’s always important to start in the podium, even better for the race win. Let’s enjoy tonight with a great party.”