Qualifying saw Plater secure a front row grid position in second place, he said: “I am happy enough with qualifying, everything went well. There was more grip in the first session than the second. The track temperature was 10 degrees different between the two and nobody went very much quicker. There were quite a few people on the pace so it is going to be a hard race, for sure.”
As the lights went out at the start of the 25-lap affair Plater was quick off the line and moved straight into the lead although James Westmoreland was right behind him waiting for a chance to hit the front.
Plater held his advantage until lap seven when Westmoreland squeezed past at the hairpin. But everything changed when, two laps later the Woodhall Spa ace slid off into the gravel at the hairpin while challenging for the lead.
Plater was quick to pick the bike up and rejoined the race down in 20th place. He began to pick off the opposition moving up a place with each passing lap until he reached 12th. He began to make inroads to the group ahead and had just passed Jack Kennedy for 11th place when the race was red flagged and a result declared at 23 laps giving Plater 11th place and five championship points.
“I was really frustrated as I had a front tyre grip problem for some reason. I hadn’t had a problem all weekend but I nearly crashed three times in the race before I finally slid off at the hairpin so I don’t know why. It was ok at mid 50s pace but as soon as I went a little faster it became a big problem. The HM Plant Honda team is checking the bike over now to see if it was a tyre issue or something else. But I did manage to pick up a few points for 11th place which could make all the difference at the end of the year.”
At the half way stage of the championship Plater holds a 15-point advantage at the top of the rider standings on 100 points but with six more races and a potential 150 points up for grabs in the final six races, his championship challenge is nowhere near over. There are four riders right behind him all waiting for a chance to snatch the title and any further mishaps could see any one of them take the series lead away from him.
The next round is at Mallory Park on July 19. Mallory is a track that has seen Plater on the top step of the podium on many occasions and he will be going all out at the Leicestershire track to record a top result and extend his series lead.