Carlos Checa heads a motorcycle world championship for the first time in his long career after his clean sweep at Phillip Island gave him the best possible start to the 2011 World Superbike Championship.
Eighteen years after making his international racing debut in the 125GP class, Checa's career is seemingly peaking at Althea Ducati as he cruised to victory in both races around the Australian venue.
It means Checa sits atop the overall standings with a full complement of 50 points, while Max Biaggi follows ten points adrift in second position.
It is the first time Checa has come away from an international race meeting with the outright advantage, though he did come very close in 2009 when he was level with Kenny Roberts Jnr after six rounds of the 500cc world championship. Though tied on points, Roberts's race wins put him marginally ahead on count-back.
Winning both races by a comfortable margin, Checa was relieved to translate his dominant practice pace into a similarly commanding race performance.
“The sessions went extremely well and we knew we had good rhythm but you never know what might happen in the races, especially if you find a wet track on Sunday morning, as we did today,” he said.
“My strategy was to get ahead and keep pace as I knew it was stronger than that of my rivals. In race one, once past Laverty, I was able to find a good rhythm. It was a really great race.
“A really great weekend in which we dominated from start to finish. We were also lucky with the weather; we couldn't have asked for a better start. I want to thank Ducati and the team for believing in me. Next we head to Donington where we'll continue to give 100 per cent.”