Yamaha's Eugene Laverty took his first World Superbike win after a dominant ride in the first race at Monza today.The Irishman took the lead on the second of 18 laps, with Aprilia Alitalia's pole-setter Max Biaggi using the speed of the RSV4 to keep pace on the long straights of the 3.59-mile track on the outskirts of Milan. BMW Motorrad's Leon Haslam and Laverty's teammate Marco Melandri were close behind, hounding Biaggi.On the 11th of 18 laps Laverty was able to pull out some breathing room when Haslam briefly passed Biaggi. While the trio fought over the remaining two podium spots, Laverty's lead went over 1.5 secs. on the 12th lap and he was on his way to his first WSB win.The margin of victory was 1.575 secs.Haslam was only able to stay in front of Biaggi for one lap, but the Italian wasn't able to shake the Brit until the penultimate lap, when he pulled out over a second to finish runner-up. It was the fifth time this season Biaggi has finished second. He also has a seventh and a DNF. Haslam was third, but under pressure from Melandri.Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki) was more than eight seconds back after winning the battle for fifth from Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea and BMW Motorrad's Troy Corser.Another four seconds later Alitalia Aprilia's Leon Camier crossed the line in eighth, just .15 sec. in front of championship leader Carlos Checa on the underpowered Althea Racing Ducati 1098R. The ninth was by far Checa's worst finish of the young season. He also has four wins and two thirds.By finishing second to Checa's ninth, Biaggi was able to take 13 points out of the Spaniard's championship lead. Heading into this afternoon's second race, Checa leads 139 to 109.

Race One:

1. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)

2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

3. Leon Haslam (BMW)

4. Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

5. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)

6. Jonathan Rea ( Honda)

7. Troy Corser (BMW)

8. Leon Camier (Aprilia)

9. Carlos Checa (Ducati)

10. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

World Superbike Headlines

By Cycle News Staff

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