Jonathan Rea fourth in opening Superbike round at Phillip Island

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea lies fifth in the championsip standings after the opening round

Jonathan Rea was edged out of a podium place in Sunday's opening round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

The Honda rider from Ballyclare was lying third in race two when he was overtaken by Tom Sykes on the last lap.

Rea came in fourth after finishing seventh in the first race.

Toomebridge's Eugene Laverty failed to finish the opeing race and was eighth in the second, while Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa were the race winners.

Marco Melandri and Sylvian Guintoli came in behind Italian Biaggi, who finished second to Checa in race two with English rider Sykes third.

Rea, who was just 0.13 seconds behind Sykes after a dramatic final lap, picked up 22 points from the opening round of the series.

Laverty is on eight points following a disappointing day on his Aprilia, with his retirement in race one coming three laps from the finish.