Plater is a six-times North West 200 winner but a relative newcomer to the Isle of Man TT races. Despite only beginning his TT career in 2007, where he became the fastest newcomer of all-time, Steve scooped a Supersport win in 2008.
“For me in 2009, the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races are so close to my heart and a massive part of my season,” said Steve. “I’ve won a few races at the North West, but I’m still hungry for more. I took three wins from four races there this year, but I wanted a clean sweep – that’s now the aim for 2009. At the TT, to be the fastest newcomer ever was a dream, but that meant I didn’t know if I should go back – as how do you beat a year like that? I have decided to finish my ‘three-year apprenticeship’ of the Island though and this year I took the Supersport win, and in doing so took five seconds out of John on the Mountain. You don’t do that lightly, so I’m also looking forward to the TT with HM Plant Honda.”
Like McGuinness, Steve will take part in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock races at the Isle of Man and Superbike and Supersport classes at the NW200.
HM Plant Honda Team Manager, Havier Beltran, said, “We’ve got an incredibly strong line-up for the roads in 2009 – a very important year for Honda – celebrating its 50th anniversary of road-racing, which began with Honda’s first assault on the Isle of Man TT races. John is still the man to beat around the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit, while Steve has proved to be one of the most remarkable newcomers of recent years, surprising many TT regulars with his speed around the course and taking a Supersport win last year. Both riders also have enviable reputations around the legendary North West 200 course, with Steve and John taking wins around the nine-mile ‘Triangle’ circuit.
Plater has yet to confirm details of his World Endurance and British Championship plans for 2009 but is expected to be in a position to announce this within the next few days.