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Bryan Staring has taken his and Pedercini Kawasaki's first-ever FIM Superstock 1000 victory after dismissing the opposition with a dominant performance at Motorland Aragon.
The Australian, currently competing in his second season of Superstock 1000 racing with the Italian team, came into the race having never even stood on the podium. However, while his fifth position on the grid didn't immediately suggest he would be a challenger for victory, Staring was barely headed at any point in the race.
Getting an excellent start from the second row, Staring slotted into second place initially behind Lorenzo Baroni but, aided by a tailwind down the long back straight, scythed past by the end of the opening lap.
Quickly pumping in a new fastest lap, Staring proceeded to extend his advantage out front, Baroni's efforts to respond proving futile as he dropped away steadily over the 12 lap race.
If Staring's race was proving quiet up at the front, things were considerably more eventful behind him as championship leader Sylvain Barrier got crossed up in incidents that would ultimately lead to his retirement.
Running third, the Frenchman found himself in the wrong place when Jeremy Guarnoni's attempts to out-brake him into the hairpin resulted in the MRS Kawasaki getting loose on the bumps and running wide into the path of Barrier. Gallingly for Barrier, while Guarnoni gathered himself in time to retain third, he would slip to sixth.
However, worse was to follow for Barrier when his efforts to recover ground would see him get it wrong into the same corner on the very next lap, the BMW Italia rider clipping title rival Lorenzo Savadori's Barni Ducati and sending both down. While each rider got back going again, Barrier would pull into the pit lane on lap five, while Savadori's recovery was limited to a 13th place fight back.
Up at the front, Staring was heading for a dominant victory, the former Australian Superbike Champion untroubled as he cruised across the finish line by more than eight seconds.
Marking the first SSTK 1000 win for the new Kawasaki ZX-10R, the Japanese manufacturer had further reason to be pleased when Guarnoni tracked down and passed Baroni to complete a popular 1-2 finish. Baroni retained third to join his rivals on the podium, giving his flagging title hopes a boost in the process.
With Barrier and Savadori hitting problems, Eddi La Marra took some advantage with a run to fourth, the Italian salvaging a solid result around a circuit that hasn't suited the Ducati 1199 Panigale at any point over the weekend. The result moves him to within a point of Barrier at the head of the standings.
Markus Reiterberger continued his consistent run of finishes with fifth place on the Alpha BMW, though the German was fortunate to have his main rival for the position Kev Coghlan run off the circuit with three laps remaining.
The British rider had been enjoying an inspired performance on the DMC Panigale as he tussled with La Marra and Reiterberger for fourth, but his error towards the end of the race would consign him to what remains a career-best sixth place.
Some distance back, Marco Bussolotti finished seventh on the SK Energy Ducati, ahead of David McFadden, the South African performing well on his Aragon debut to complete Pedercini Kawasaki's successful day.
Christoffer Bergman and Fabio Massei rounded out the top ten, while Ondrej Jezek, wild-card Enrique Ferrer, the recovering Savadori, Alen Gyorfi and Tiago Dias rounded out the points' paying positions.