Team Vitrans Honda riders Michael Laverty and Dean Thomas both took World Supersport championship points a thrilling race at Assen where the midfield group diced endlessly throughout the 16 laps.

In the team's fourth appearance in this year's championship, the two riders became embroiled in a thrilling scrap for eighth place, with less than two seconds separating them and nine other riders.

After a disappointing qualifying performance, Thomas and Laverty started the race around the famous six-kilometre Dutch circuit in 20th and 22nd places, but Laverty got a flying start and was running in ninth place before falling back into the classic Supersport dog fight.

"I really enjoyed that!" said the Irishman afterwards, "The four races we've done in this year's world championship have been great experience for me. I'm looking forward to using that experience in next weekend's British round at Brands Hatch."

Thomas, who was pipped for twelfth place by his Vitrans team-mate on the final lap, commented that the qualifying disappointment had set the tone for the race.

"We could really have done without yesterday's qualifying session being wet to get a better set-up for the race," he admitted, "The race was fun, but I had to work hard to get into that big battle and would have preferred to start higher up the grid. The important thing is that we were running at the same pace as quality world championship teams and that's good for the British series."