Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan for the Lincolnshire star as he slid off in the first session and was only able to secure ninth position in the final qualifying period for a third row start to the race.
“I slid off at Craner,” said Plater. “I don’t really know why, I didn’t do anything any different than on any other lap so it’s a bit frustrating. We managed to get things going for the second session and lapped six or seven 10ths faster but I was only able to move up to ninth on the grid so will have a lot of work to do at the start of the race. I know we are on the pace on race tyres but I need to get near to the front at the first turn.”
As the 18-lap race got underway Steve made a good start and maintained his position of ninth at Redgate. But as his tyres began to warm he made steady progress forward to take up fourth on lap five and begin to edge nearer to the three leading riders a few seconds ahead.
By lap 12 he was with them and within another four laps had taken the lead. With a clear track ahead, Plater began to pull away and completed the 18-lap affair over two seconds ahead of Dan Linfoot and Paul Young. This result would see Plater take the championship lead with a seven point advantage over Billy McConnell, but Young failed a post race check and was disqualified which benefited McConnell who was promoted to third place giving him the bonus of an extra four championship points and reducing Plater’s lead to four points.
“I got off the line well,” explained Plater. “But then was almost run into at Hollywood in the first lap tussle. It was no big deal but I lost a few places. I held my position for a while and then started to move away and push. McConnell came past me on the first lap which opened my eyes as I knew he was leading the championship so I got my head down and set about catching him up again.
“I am leading the championship now which is good for both myself and HM Plant Honda. It will be a busy week for me as I have to go over to the Isle of Man to get set up for the TT races and then fly back to Thruxton for qualifying. I have to return to the Isle of Man on Saturday straight after qualifying to take part in the first night of practice before returning to Thruxton on Sunday in time for my race. It’s a bit hectic but as long as the flights are all running ok everything should work out fine.”
It is a quick turn around for all the riders as the weekend’s racing at Thruxton begins on Friday with free practice. Qualifying is set for Saturday with the 18-lap Supersport race due on track at 3.40pm on Sunday.
Pic credit - action - Turn One Photography