Toomebridge rider Eugene Laverty finished 18th for the Aspar Honda team on his MotoGP debut ride in Qatar.
The Monaco-based racer was 46.570 seconds behind Yamaha-mounted winner Valentino Rossi, from Italy.
The nine-time world champion saw off Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso for the win, with Andrea Iannone in third.
Reigning world champion Marc Marquez ran off the track in the first corner and had to fight his way back from last to fifth place.
Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was fourth and Dani Pedrosa, on a Honda, sixth.