Motorcycling: Aprilia duo in winning start

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The Independent Online

The Aprilia pair Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli lead the way in the World Superbike Championship after the opening races at Phillip Island in Australia.

Guintoli beat his team-mate to the chequered flag in the first race, with his Northern Irish counterpart securing the second.

Guintoli's victory was the fourth of his career, and he secured it by overtaking Laverty on lap 15 and holding off the rest of the field.

The Ducati Alstare rider Carlos Checa, who was on pole, exited the race on lap 14 after colliding with Marco Melandri, with his injuries forcing him out of the second race.

Laverty ended the second race strongly, while Melandri finished third behind Guintoli.