Eugene Laverty (58) leads Marco Melandri (33) during the Superbike opener. (Photo: Getty Images)

(58) leads (33) during the Superbike opener. (Photo: Getty Images)

Eugene Laverty of Ireland gave Suzuki its first World Superbike victory since 2010, winning the first race of the championships’ opening round on Sunday.

Laverty overcame a slow start from the second row of the grid to take the lead on the 17th of 22 laps, then pulled away to win by almost three seconds over Marco Melandri of Italy, riding an Aprilia.

His victory was the first win by a Suzuki rider since Kyalami, South Africa, in 2010

In the second race of the day, however, Laverty’s engine exploded and of France took the win.

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