Eugene Laverty got his 2010 World Supersport title bid off to a perfect start with a commanding first round victory at Phillip Island.
A dominant win that went against the formbook following an indifferent performance during free practice and qualifying, Laverty shrugged off pre-race favourites Joan Lascorz and Kenan Sofuoglu to win by a comfortable four seconds.
His triumph was made all the more convincing after he was forced to regain his composure having seen an early lead during the first start wiped out by a red flag three laps into the race.
Prompted by problems for both Chaz Davies and Massimo Roccoli, with oil spills sending Michele Pirro, Sofuoglu and Jason Di Salvo to the ground, the decision was taken to restart the entire race, allowing the quintet to rejoin the grid.
Nonetheless, despite a delay of more than 30 minutes, Laverty picked up where he left off, grabbing the lead into Honda and swiftly establishing an advantage over a chasing Lascorz.
Having smashed the lap record during qualifying, Lascorz was expected to push Laverty hard, but instead found himself embroiled in an entertaining dice with Ten Kate Honda debutant Pirro, the pair swapping positions continuously over the first few laps.
Eventually the battle for second became a four-way exchange, with Sofuoglu and Katsuaki Fujiwara joining the fray, the latter launching an inspired fight back through the field after falling to 11th in the early stages.
Indeed, the Japanese rider appeared to be the man most likely to emerge from the scrap ahead of his rivals, but having fought his way up to second position on lap 18, he promptly dropped the Kawasaki at Honda.
With Pirro also out of contention when he retired with a puncture, only Lascorz and Sofuoglu remained to dispute second, with the Spaniard getting the nod over the former champion after slipstreaming past on the final lap and holding on to the chequered flag.