Michael Laverty says he was lucky not to have been hit harder by Tommy Hill and Shane Byrne after crashing directly in front of them during the British Superbike Championship opener at Brands Hatch.

The Swan Yamaha rider had been leading when he lost the bike on the exit of Clearways, Laverty proceeding to be clipped by team-mate Tommy Hill as he spun off the circuit.

Despite the crash, and his impact with Hill's bike, Laverty suffered no notable injuries, the Northern Irishman relieved to have not been involved in a more serious smash.

"It has been a bit of a tough one for me," he said. "I am feeling a little bit sore, but I was able to walk away from a really big crash in the first race and that is the main thing but the team worked hard to get the bike back together for the second race.

"It was a shame to crash out as I felt quite good and I was feeling confident for the win. It was a big crash; the tyre just spun and I didn't have time to save it. I did get clipped by Tommy but I was so lucky that both him and Shakey were able to miss me.

Laverty bounced back in the second race to run third initially and set the fastest lap of the race, though he would back off and settle for fourth when he began to feel the bike folding.

"In the second race I felt ok and set the fastest lap but then there were a few places where the front was folding and I didn't want to crash again. We have a few days now before Oulton Park and I want to come out there and get back on the podium."

Laverty won his first BSB race at Oulton Park last year aboard the Relentless by TAS Suzuki team.