Eugene Laverty has described his remarkable charge to victory on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki debut as meaning more to him than any other success in his WSBK career as he notched up the manufacturer's first series win since 2010.

Though Laverty has been tipped to return Suzuki to winning ways this year after a positive showing in pre-season testing, not only was the man himself surprised to turn in a win on his first outing aboard the GSX-R1000, but the manner of his success would prove particularly memorable.

Laverty was more than four seconds behind the top trio and seemingly out of victory contention after a poor start, but the Irishman would display a searing pace to work his way back into contention, pouncing on the leaders in quick succession to nose ahead for the first time with five laps remaining.

From here Laverty simply extended his advantage to finish comfortably ahead of his rivals, his win marking the first for Suzuki in 95 races when Leon Haslam took victory at Kyalami almost four years ago. Naturally, Laverty was thrilled to reward Voltcom Crescent Racing after taking him on over the winter following his departure from Aprilia.

"The first race was incredible! To be so far back on the first lap and come through to win, it was the perfect race for us and a nice way to pay back the whole team for the belief they've shown in me.

"Paul Denning worked hard to get me on board and he delivered everything I needed. He brought in my Crew Chief Phil Marron, Davide Gentile to work on the electronics, and Stan, who I've worked with before. All the rest of the boys have welcomed me, so it was nice to be able to reward them with the win right away, and it's a win that means more to me than any so far in my WSBK career."

Sadly for Laverty, his hopes of making it a perfect double came to an abrupt conclusion in race two when a dramatic engine blow-out whilst running second ensured it remained a day of mixed emotions.

"A day of highs and lows! The second race was a disappointment for everyone. We didn't deserve that, that's for sure but that's racing and unfortunately that's how it goes sometimes."

His retirement in race two means Laverty leaves the opening round fifth in the overall standings.



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