Team Vitrans Honda's Michael Laverty sealed a memorable British Supersport season by taking victory in the 12th and final round at Donington Park in Leicestershire this afternoon.

Fellow Honda rider, Karl Harris was second in the 18-lap race, Craig Jones third on a Triumph, with Team Vitrans rider, Dean Thomas, just missing out on the final podium place in fourth.

"I got a reasonable start," said Laverty who had qualified in fifth place on the grid, "but the pace car came out for about four laps early on. When it went in I just nailed it and managed to hold on.

"It feels great to finish the season on such a high note," continued the Irishman, "and all credit has to go to the team who have worked so hard."

Thomas was philosophical about being edged off the podium by just two tenths of a second. "I think I probably chose too hard a rear tyre," said the Australian. "I was sliding around quite a bit but think that I could have passed Craig (Jones) with another lap."

The result leaves Laverty and Thomas in fourth and fifth places respectively in the championship and Team Vitrans owner, Robbie Burns, is delighted with the season.

"We've had some ups and downs, for sure, and Dean didn't join us until the fourth round. However, the team has worked hard and this result finishes it off nicely!" he beamed. "We've learned a lot and achieved a lot this season and I think we've become a respected part of the paddock. I'm looking forward to announcing our plans for 2004 in the next few weeks."

Results, round 12 - Donington Park:
Result (18 laps): 1 Michael Laverty (Honda) 30m31.390s, 2 Karl Harris (Honda) 30'31.795s, 3 Craig Jones (Triumph) 30'42.043, 4 Dean Thomas (Honda) 30'42.254, 5 Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 30'42.524, 6 Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 30'47.516, 7 Stuart Easton (Ducati) 30'47.602, 8 Jamie Robinson (Yamaha) 30'47.820, 9 Kim Ashkenazi (Yamaha) 30'53.450, Tom Tunstall (Yamaha) 30'57.439.

Final championship points: Harris 235, Easton 192, Andrews 146, Laverty 127, Thomas 116, John Crockford 95, Jones 91, Sykes 90, Adrian Coates 79, Rob Frost 78.

 

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