A highly-anticipated return to Australian tracks could hardly have gone any better for Goulburn's Tom Toparis.
After having spent much of the last few months living in the Netherlands, Toparis returned to Queensland from July 5 to July 7 for the fourth round of the Australian Superbike Championships (ASBK), and claimed emphatic wins in a clean sweep at Morgan Park.
Ahead of the weekend's competition, Toparis expressed his confidence about his form, saying the he needed to "keep focused".
"Let's hope the weather's alright, for one, but I think regardless I'm pretty comfortable on the bike and I can't wait to get up there."
At the start of the first race, Toparis fans might briefly have thought that confidence was misplaced as he fell to third, behind perennial challenger Nic Liminton (who started in pole position), and Reid Battye in second.
Toparis' ascent through the placings was delayed somewhat as he fended off a challenge from Callum Spriggs in fourth, but by lap three he and Battye had overtaken Liminton to sit in first and second.
The next three laps saw a battle take place at the front as Battye fought with all his might to stay ahead of Toparis.
However, it proved to be futile as the 19-year-old's relentlessness saw him take the lead in lap six.
Toparis then set about extending his lead as much as possible, as task which was made significantly easier when Battye hit the gravel after a crash on lap 12.
This saw Toparis cross the finish line more than seven seconds ahead of Callum Spriggs and Broc Pearson in second and third.
The second race was less eventful than the first, as Battye took the lead early but was again overtaken by Toparis during the third lap.
Both riders battled for a time, but Battye was soon distracted by Liminton's challenge from third, which allowed Toparis to further extend his lead as the rest of the field settled.
Competitors stayed in touch with Toparis for much of the race, and at one point came within half a second of the front, but the youngster's class became evident as he secured a three second gap by the end of the race.
His twin wins at Morgan Park give Toparis a tally of 248 points, 60 ahead of Liminton in second place.
Speaking to ASBK media after his victory, Toparis said that he was thrilled with his victory and the efforts of his team.
"It was such a good job by my Landbridge Yamaha team all weekend," he said. "We didn't test here at Morgan Park all weekend and were on the back foot, but we just kept at it."
Following his success at Morgan Park, Toparis was straight back on the plane to the Netherlands ahead of the Assen 501 km Enduro race, which took place on Saturday.
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