Kenan Sofuoglu led home a Honda podium clean sweep as the 2009 FIM Supersport World Championship kicked off with an entertaining first race at Phillip Island in Australia.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider found himself part of a remarkable train of 15 bikes at the head of the field with none of the riders willing to over-commit their tyres too early in the 21-lap race.
The 24-year-old Turk slipped to 10th place at one point as the bunched field jockeyed for position but slowly made his way to the head of the pack before leading home a three-man breakaway group that also included reigning champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda).
"I'm so happy to win, especially after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for pole position yesterday (Saturday)," said Sofuoglu, the 2007 champion.
"My team has been fantastic to give me such a good bike and it's been a great start to the championship."
Pitt, who had to be content with second place at his home event, added: "It was a strange old race, really - we were riding so slowly for most of it, just to make the tyres last.
"Everyone was tripping over one another until the last five laps, but that's what we've been working on - trying to be there when it really matters."
The leading trio were covered by just 0.153 seconds at the flag, while Cal Crutchlow and Eugene Laverty, in fourth and fifth places respectively, were just over a second further back.