Tetsuta Nagashima tamed his tyres to secure his first ever Moto2 victory in Qatar on debut for the KTM-backed Ajo squad.
Nagashima-who started a lowly 14th– worked his way up front early doors, managing to breach the top ten while Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini battled for the lead just ahead.
The Japanese rider was seemingly happy to cruise around looking after his tyres until he pulled the pin just past mid-distance, passing team-mate Jorge Martin as he began to struggle and closing down the leading group.
He then managed to find a way past pole-man Joe Roberts into third with only a few laps remaining, before catching and passing both Bastianini and leader Lorenzo Baldassarri into Turns 1 and 2 respectively just over a lap later, quickly getting his head down and building an advantage.
He eventually took the chequered flag 1.3 seconds clear of Baldassarri, who managed to fend off the advances of the pursuing Italtrans machine of Bastianini to take second.
Roberts managed to salvage a strong fourth-his best ever result-while Remy Gardner staged a strong comeback in the latter stages to deprive Jorge Navarro of fifth on the final lap, the Speed Up man having to make do with sixth.
Marcel Schrotter was another man to conserve his tyres well, the German fighting back from a mid-teens position early on to pip impressive rookie Aron Canet for seventh, while Xavi Vierge and Thomas Luthi completed the top ten for Petronas SRT and Intact GP respectively.
Marini looked set for victory as he managed to build a handy lead over Roberts at the mid-point of the contest, but crashed out on the final lap in a clash with Jake Dixon’s Petronas SRT machine.
The Italian had begun to struggle significantly with tyre life though, and after being re-passed by Roberts quickly dropped through the field to 14th, coming together with the Brit at the final turn.
Dixon survived to cross the line 14th, while Marini crashed out and failed to score points after looking so strong throughout the event.