While the smart money appeared to be best spent on Joan Lascorz and Kenan Sofuoglu following their record-breaking turns during qualifying, Eugene Laverty proved single lap pace is of no use when racing gets underway after cruising to World Supersport victory at Phillip Island.
Although the 2009 WSS runner-up went into the opening round as a favourite to challenge for victory, the sheer speed of Lascorz and Sofuoglu during qualifying suggested the win would be disputed between the pair.
Nonetheless, having mostly concentrated on his form over a race distance during free practice, Laverty put his tactics to good use when it mattered as he converted an early lead into a four second victory by the chequered flag.
Upstaging his Kawasaki and Ten Kate Honda rivals in the process, Laverty was delighted to come away with his fifth career WSS win, the Irishman pointing out that it means he leads a world championship for the first time.
“It was a pretty easy race after a tough weekend trying to match the pace of Lascorz and Sofuoglu. Those guys can put in a quick lap but we knew we had the consistency and this morning we managed to improve the race set-up of my CBR600RR a bit more.
“Thank you to my Parkalgar Honda team for all its hard work, it has paid off – thank you also to Pirelli for an excellent tyre that worked well for me all weekend and never missed a beat. I couldn't have asked for a better start to the season and am looking forward to going to our home circuit in Portugal as the leader of the World Championship – a first in my career.”
Having tipped Laverty to win the title in 2010, team manager Simon Buckmaster was thrilled with his rider's confident run to victory.
“That was a brilliant race win by Eugene and a well-deserved top 10 for Miguel. Well done to the Parkalgar Honda team for working so hard, they did a great job. While others went for fast single lap times we concentrated on our own strategy and it paid off. I do not expect the next races to be so easy and we will go back to the PTR workshops and continue to develop our Parkalgar Honda race bikes.
“Thank you to all our loyal sponsors and none of us can wait to get to our own Parkalgar circuit in Portugal for the second round; we will be doing all we can to deliver the goods there for our main sponsor and circuit owner Parkalgar.”