Reigning Spanish Supersport champion Graeme Gowland registered the first points of his 2008 World Championship season at the weekend, coming home a fighting 13th at Phillip Island.

While maybe not a result to shake the frontrunners, scoring some points was vital for Gowland, who had come close to finishing in the top ten at the opening round of the year at Qatar the previous weekend, only to crash out. Second time around, however, he didn't put a wheel wrong.

An impressive qualifying performance saw the Briton lap just 1.8secs off polesetter Andrew Pitt - a former World Supersport champion, MotoGP rider and Australian to boot - on his first visit to the coastal circuit, enough to line his Benjan Racing Honda up on the fifth row of the grid, and ahead of Barry Veneman and Matthieu Lagrive, who had finished sixth and fifth respectively in Qatar.

A slow getaway in Sunday's race, however, meant that Gowland was engulfed by the pack and ended the first lap down in 23rd, but he responded positively, pushing hard on the following lap to move through to 18th, setting his fastest time of the race in the process. He then battled it out with Gregory Leblanc over the next few laps, before eventually getting the upper hand and overhauling both Leblanc and team-mate Vesa Kallio.

By the eighth lap, the Briton was up to 13th - after passing both the experienced Ivan Clementi and fan favourite Chris Walker - and as the race entered its final third, began to reel in the next two riders ahead, Qatar podium finisher Craig Jones and Aussie Mark Aitchison. The Benjan Honda was on Jones' back wheel by lap 15, with Gowland claiming another scalp next time around.

A few laps later and he was just outside the top ten, but the final two laps saw Gowland back in a battle for eleventh with Clementi and Aitchison. Despite planning a move for the final lap, he was unable to carry out the pass as the BE1 Racing team-mates were also swapping paintwork, and he crossed the line in a still-impressive 13th to score three points.

"I am really pleased with today's result as I scored points and on a circuit that was new to me," the former motocrosser commented, "We made a good choice with the set-up for the race and this really helped my tyres to last the distance. A big thank you to all the Benjan Racing Team."

Gowland will now test in Valencia in preparation for the next round of the championship at the same Ricardo Tormo circuit on 6 April.