Former MotoGP star Alex Barros took his first World Superbike victory, at his 21st attempt, in race one at Imola on Sunday - handing Klaffi Honda and Brazil its first WSBK win in the process.

Barros mounted a stunning recovery, after another poor start, rising back to his grid position of eighth at the end of lap one - then taking the lead on lap 12 of 21 and never looking back as he charged to a 4.4secs victory over fellow Fireblade rider James Toseland.

"I have to say thank you to the team," smiled Alex. "They worked fantastic and the bike was very competitive. The two crashes ahead of me cost me some ground, but once I was in the lead, I could control it easily."

"Alex did a great job," added team manager Klaus Klaffenbock, yet to confirm Barros for 2007. "We knew about his ability to ride consistent laps about 1min 50secs after the qualifying sessions. I hope we can continue with this team for 2007 and get a second rider. We proved, that we are capable to win."

Barros looked more than capable of taking his second World Superbike victory in race two, but again suffered at the start and was forced to fight his way back from eleventh to second - but was just a few laps away from challenging race winner, and new world champion Troy Bayliss, when the chequered flag fell.

"The start to the second race was a disastrous. I spent some time behind Muggeridge, actually we came together at the Variante Alta, which cost me about two seconds, because I had to go over the grass," revealed Barros. "Maybe with a few more laps I could have caught Bayliss. Anyway it is a great result and we want to continue on this level in Magny Cours."

Barros will conclude his first WSBK season next weekend at Magny Cours, when he will be aiming to add to his debut victory and overturn the current eighth-point deficit to fourth in the championship Andrew Pitt.