Plater was competing in round nine of the Fuchs/Silkolene British Supersport championship at the Lincolnshire circuit of Cadwell Park and knew he had to produce a top result to maintain his championship lead over McConnell who was only a handful of points away from him.
There are only three machines per row on the starting grid instead of the usual four, which resulted in Plater, who was seventh in qualifying, starting his campaign from the third row.
“Qualifying didn’t really go to plan for me, in the first session I finished seventh and as we had a few problems with set up we changed things for the final session,” explained Plater. “But we had a little bit of rain, nothing much but enough to slow us down a tad and I wasn’t able to go any faster, so ended up in seventh place. Billy is only seven points behind me so I realise the need to bag the points today I love Cadwell Park and it would be nice to get the win in front of my home crowd. I will be trying hard so we will just have to see what happens”
Not getting the best of starts, Plater completed the first lap in sixth place before making his way through to fourth on lap three. When Dan Linfoot had an out of seat moment at Mansfield on lap three Plater was quick to power the HM Plant Honda through to snatch his third place.
He gradually reeled in James Westmoreland and finally forged ahead at Park Corner to chase after McConnell who had a commanding lead. Once he had a clear track ahead of him, Plater stepped on the gas and once he had McConnell in his sights set about reducing the gap.
But although he got to within striking distance he ran out of laps and crossed the finish line in second place, just two seconds away from his target.
“Billy McConnell has been on fire all weekend,” said Plater. “In fact I was thinking about calling the fire brigade to put him out,” he quipped. “I realised that Billy was on the pace and in reality I was riding for second, unless he had a problem. I struggled to get past Westmoreland but once I got by I knew I could push on and pull a gap, which is what I did. I am happy enough with second but it is very tight now with only two points separating us so I need to finish the remaining three races ahead of him to be sure of the title.”
The next round is at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on September 13 when Plater will be striving for a top result to maintain his series lead.
Pic credit Turn One Photography