Eugene Laverty emerged as one of the stars from the first World Supersport round of the season at Phillip Island after briefly leading before finishing an eventual fifth.

The Irishman made steady progress as the weekend continued, eventually hauling his Parkalgar Honda up to a strong fifth position on the grid.

He duly turned that into strong race pace, battling towards the front of the field and even taking the lead of the race on lap eight, a position he held for three laps before he swamped by his close following rivals.

Nonetheless, Laverty remained competitive as he embarked on an enjoyable tussle with former British Supersport sparring partner Cal Crutchlow in the battle for fourth.

Eventually, the Yamaha rider got the nod by a single thousandth of a second when Laverty made a slight error out of the final corner. Still, Laverty was delighted with a top five finish in his first race with the Parkalgar team

"That was a good race, only a thousandths of a second between me and Crutchlow. I thought he had me anyway because as we were side by side he was coming past me and then moved over in front. I had to move and lift my leg up a bit.

"I touched the gravel on the exit of the final turn as I was trying to get the bike upright and drive down the straight, so I lost a bit of drive. It was an incredible race, I look forward to watching it on TV. So many riders in the leading group at one time, which shows how competitive this class is."

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