Stuart Easton made a welcome return to the British Superbike Championship top five at Thruxton after a magnificent performance saw him turn around what threatened to be a disappointing event.

Having opted to sit out the treacherous opening round at Brands Hatch in an effort to preserve his physical condition, which is still hampered by the lingering effects of his horrific accident at the North West 200 in May 2011, Easton was left with a challenge around the high-speed Hampshire circuit when he could only qualify 21st.

Nonetheless, Easton made swift progress in the first race, an upward trajectory that carried all the way to third place at one stage before eventually settling for what remained a marvellous fifth place finish. Benefiting from a better starting position for race two, Easton battled in the lead group from start-to-finish on the way to fourth position.

A hugely popular result for the Scot, Easton is confident his results will improve as both he and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team get stronger.

"I'm pleased with how this weekend has gone and we have learned a lot, not least I can mix it with the leaders so despite feeling a bit stiff, I'm happy with a fourth and fifth place. We'll be stronger at Oulton and so will the bike."