Team Vitrans Honda rider, Dean Thomas, took a spirited third place in round eleven of the 2003 British Supersport championship at Brands Hatch in Kent today after team-mate Michael Laverty had looked set for victory.

Laverty, who qualified second for the 28-lap race around the Kent circuit, took the holeshot from Honda's Karl Harris and led comfortably for the first 19 laps. It was then that Harris tried to out-brake Laverty at Druids hairpin, losing the front end of his Honda and crashing out with the Irishman.

"It's so disappointing," said Laverty after the race. "We had a great new front from Pirelli and I'd been through a race plan with the team. After a good start it was all going to that plan until Harris tried to get by. I guess that's racing though and we'll try again in the last round at Donington."

Thomas started from sixth on the grid but enjoyed a battle with fellow Honda-mounted John Crockford for the final podium position. Entering the final lap just behind his rival, Thomas used the drive of his Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR out of the last corner to beat Crockford by two hundredths of a second at the line.

"That was great fun," said the Australian. "I used that drive out of Clearways to win here earlier in the year but it was just as satisfying to take third today. The Honda worked great today and Pirelli's tyres have just been getting better and better."

Thomas now lies in fourth place in the championship table, one point ahead of team-mate Laverty. The final positions will be determined at Donington Park on 28 September.



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