He beat Kiwi Matt-Lewis Hewitt, who also advanced, in his four-man heat.
“As world champion I guess I feel there’s a target on my back, I’m the one to take down," he said.
"But once I was in the heat I felt good out there – It’s good to get the jersey back on.
"Toward the end of last year there was an incredible amount of pressure and now that’s not there - maybe I can be an even more dangerous opponent in the water."
Seventeen-year-old Brazilian sensation Felipe Toledo, fast-tracked on to the ASP World Championship Tour after finishing second in this event last year, also progressed.
Recently crowned twice junior world champion Jack Freestone was eliminated by Santiago Muniz of Argentina and local surfer Jesse Adam.
Australians Matt Wilkinson and Matt Banting bumped into one another competing for the same wave, with judges penalising an annoyed Banting for interference. A similar situation arose between Brazilians Ian Gouveia and Peterson Crisanto, also in heat nine, with the latter penalised for interference.
Wilkinson and Gouveia reached the round of 48, which will be contested on Thursday.
In the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic, Aussie Stephanie Gilmore made a shock exit against to Alize Arnaud of France and American Sage Erickson.
The event is a warm-up for the official ASP World Championship Tour season which begins with the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast on March 2.
Burton Toyota Pro round of 96 results
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 17, Matt Lewis Hewitt (NZ) 13.23, Wade Carmichael (Aus) 9.14, Steven Sawyer (Zaf) 8.77
Heat 2: Joan Duru (Fra) 16.77, Tomas Hermes (Bra) 15.8, Hiroto Ohhara (Jpn) 11.37, Beyrick De Vries (Zaf) 9.23
Heat 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.17, Oney Anwar (IND)11.67, Michael Powell (USA) 10.17 Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 7.70
Heat 4: Felipe Toledo (Bra) 14.7, Bino Lopes (Bra) 12, Evan Geiselman (USA) 11.60, Billy Stairmand (NZ)
Heat 5: Kalani David (HAW) 15.7, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.87, Nobuyuki Osawa (Jpn) 10.33, Jay Quinn (NZ) 11.87
Heat 6: Santiago Muniz (Arg), Jesse Adam (Aus), Jack Freestone (Aus), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 7: Charles Martin (GLP) 14.34, Jeremy Johnston (USA) 13.34, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.03, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.07
Heat 8: Mark Lacomare (Fra) 14.33 , Maxime Huscenot (Fra) 13.77, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.13, Caio Ibelli (Bra) 4.13
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (Aus) 17.40, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.20, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.69, Matt Banting (AUS) 10.02
Hunter Ports Women’s Classic round of 12 results
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.60, Dimity Stoyle (Aus) 14.70, Alize Arnaud (Fra) 7.4
Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 15.43, Pauline Ado (Fra) 13.93, Sofia Mulanovich (Per) 9.70
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) 18.70, Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) 10.93, Laura Enever (Aus) 8.27
Heat 4: Alessa Quizon (Haw) , Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Nikki Van Dijk (Aus)
Hunter Ports Women’s Classic round of 24 results
Heat 1: Dimity Stoyle (Aus) 17, Sofia Mulanovich (Per) 12.07, Nage Melamed (Haw)9.33, Tatiana Western-Webb (Haw)
Heat 2: Alize Arnaud (Fra) 15.17, Sage Erickson (USA) 14.67, Canelle Ballard (Reu) 11.07, Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) 9.80
Heat 3: Pauline Ado (Fra) 16.10, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.54, Johanne Defay (Fra) 11.90, Keely Andrew (Aus) 11.50
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.04, Alessa Quizon (Haw) 12.23, Felicity Palmateer (Aus) 7.90, Ellie-Jean Coffey (Aus) 7.80
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) 17.10, Nikki Van Dijk (Aus) 11.14, Brittani Nicholl (Aus) 5.90, Stephanie Single (Aus) 5.23
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (Zaf) 12.53, Laura Enever (Aus) 11.90, Bronte Macaulay (Aus) 11.36, Philippa Anderson (Aus) 6.40