When Joan Lascorz demolished the Phillip Island World Supersport track record during qualifying for the opening round of the 2010 season, the Kawasaki rider appeared to be clear favourite for race honours.
However, the Spaniard would be forced to settle for a distant second place behind Eugene Laverty after battling with chatter problems from start-to-finish.
Embroiled in an entertaining spat with Kenan Sofuoglu, Michele Pirro and Katsuaki Fujiwara for the runners-up spot, while Pirro and Fujiwara fell by the wayside, Lascorz's last lap charge on Sofuoglu would see him secure the place.
Although not quite what he had hoped for following qualifying, Lascorz was otherwise pleased to get his season off to a confident start.
“We had a perfect qualifying but in the race we found a bit of chatter. I was not sure why but I tried my best. It is not so bad at this race to be second and score lots of good points, and at the next race we should be even better.
“Katsuaki used a different rear tyre choice from me and he seemed more comfortable on the final few laps. He was just unlucky to fall. I am looking forward to the next race already.”
Fujiwara, meanwhile, was looking at his first podium finish since Silverstone 2007 – and his first with Kawasaki – when he passed Lascorz for second with four laps remaining. However, no sooner had he got past, he was picking up his bike at Honda after losing the front-end through the right-hander.
Having dropped outside the top ten during the early stages of the race, Fujiwara was bitterly disappointed to see his fight back to second go unrewarded.
“I made a good start but I was pushed wide at the first corner and lost a few places,” the Japanese rider, who eventually recovered to 11th, said. “My bike was really consistent and we made a good choice on the rear tyre. The set-up was really good.
“I had just passed Joan and was trying to go forward when I lost the front, in mid-corner. I got on and scored some points but I should have been in the podium. We were in very good shape this weekend and I think we will be back again at Portimao.”