VALENCIA: Britain's Neil Hodgson proved why he is the hot favourite to take this season's Superbike world championship with a masterful double victory in the opening round in Valencia on Sunday.
The 29-year-old from Burnley, who was on pole position after dominating qualifying, sliced a third of a second off Ben Bostrom's lap record on his way to claiming his second victory of the day and the fifth world superbike win of his career.
Teammate Ruben Xaus of Spain gave the home crowd something to cheer by finishing second for the second time while Britain's James Toseland was third.
Former world champion Troy Corser, making his debut for Carl Fogarty's new Foggy Petronas team, finished in an impressive seventh on a circuit he won three times in 2000 and 2001.
Hodgson heads the standings on 50 points, 10 ahead of Xaus. Reuters