The 2011 World Superbike Championship is finally underway, with the Phillip Island opener ending months of anticipation and speculation as to whom will come out of the blocks fastest.
That man was undoubtedly Carlos Checa, the Spaniard showing Ducati's absence in a factory capacity need not blunt their hopes of a 2011 title win as he dominated proceedings in Australia.
As a race winner at Phillip Island last year and the fastest man through testing around the same circuit, while there may have been an 'expectant' air about his double victory feat, it was an outstanding achievement all the same.
Naturally, Checa was a star performer in Australia, but he wasn't the only rider to put in a notable performance.
Indeed, Max Biaggi shrugged off his own predictions that he would struggle at Phillip Island to come away with two hard fought second place finishes.
Plaudits must also be reserved for podium winners Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, the former looking very comfortable in his first World Superbike outing, while the latter made the BMW look more competitive than pre-season testing would have led to believe.
The first man to lead a lap of the 2011 WSBK season, Eugene Laverty was also a front runner on his debut for Yamaha, while Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier should be praised for their efforts against adversity.
In short, there are certainly plenty of candidates to consider for 'rider of the day', which is why we're throwing out the question to Crash.net
readers – who stood out for you at Phillip Island?
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