Steve Plater, from Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire qualified in 13th place, the fastest Yamaha rider on circuit, for a fourth row start to Sundayís two races and with less than a second covering the top 14 riders the scene was set for some close and exciting racing around the short and tricky 1.1986-mile Indy circuit.
When race one got underway at noon there was an air of anticipation amongst the huge crowd that had gathered to watch the season finale. Plater got away to a good start and immediately moved into 12th place. His progress was halted by the pace car on lap 10 but when the car left the track he gained ground and went past fellow Yamaha rider Tommy Hill to claim 10th position.
He made tracks towards Simon Andrews, reeling him in at a fast rate of knots and the pair crossed the finish line as one. But Andrews won the battle by a tyre tread to take ninth place with Steve claiming 10th.
Dunlop had a bit of a safety issue with tyres this weekend and decided to recall all the tyres we were intending to use in the races. It was the same for the whole paddock but the problem was that I had to go out in race one on a tyre I hadnít used all weekend and it wasnít on the warmers for long so I had to wait for three laps before I could push it. So all in all I was quite happy with the result really. The tyre issue wasnít such a big deal, its better to be safe than sorry.
Race two saw Steve hold his 13th position until the race was red flagged after an oil spillage. The re-start was to be run over 20 laps and as proceedings got underway Plater moved forward to 12th place becoming embroiled in a battle with James Haydon and Michael Rutter. Although he got the better of Rutter he came back at him and regained 10th on the last lap leaving Steve to cross the finish line in 11th position to be the first Yamaha rider over the finish line.
Steve Allan returned to the team in the Supersport class after making a full recovery from his wrist injury sustained in the first lap crash at Croft in August and qualified in 22nd place for the final Supersport race of the season. He progressed through the midfielders to take up 15th position towards the end of the race which was subsequently red-flagged and a result declared at 22-laps.
I am very happy to finish in the points in the final race of the year especially considering I hadnít raced at all this year until Mallory and then I crashed on the first lap at Croft, breaking my wrist so I think today everyone in the team will be happy that I was able to finish in the points. The team have worked really hard this weekend, itís a mega, mega bike, really fast, and itís just a shame that this was the last round and not the first.
Steven Neate continued his quest for points with AIM Yamaha at Brands after deputising at Cadwell and Donington for the injured Steve Allan. Steven qualified in 14th position Ė just seven tenths of a second away from pole Ė and as the race got underway he moved steadily forward until he reached 12th place. The red flag curtailed his race with two laps remaining and Steven was awarded 12th place and four championship points.
On the whole the result is not too bad, I was in a good rhythm and running with a bunch of good, fast rider though perhaps I was not quite as far up the order as I would have liked but I am happy enough. We struggled to start with this weekend but got better and better in each session, so to end up with a reasonably good points finish is a nice end to the season. A big thanks to everyone in the team. I called them up last minute as I was without a ride after my accident at Mondello and I gelled with everyone really well, I like the bike and this has been a nice way to end the year.
We have done well in the Supersport class from where we started after qualifying. Steve Allan got mixed up with traffic and couldnít get a fast lap in while Steven Neate didnít really go fast enough on the qualifying tyre which shows that he needs a bit more time on the bike. But they have both brought the bikes home safely with no crashes and picked up a few points for the team.
Steve Plater has gone really well again today and we seem to have got the bike working. Its the first time we have got the tyres working properly and the geometry right, its just a shame itís the last meeting but there you go. He has done a really good job for us and I thank him for all the hard work he has put in through the year trying to get the bike to work with some normality.
The British Superbike season is now over but its business as usual for AIM Yamaha who now turn their attention to the Sunflower meeting at Bishopscourt in Ireland where they have R6 Cup winner B J Toal at the helm of the AIM R6 Yamaha on Sunday, October 21.
The team then make the final preparations for the Macau Grand Prix, which takes place on November 17th. Steve Plater rode to victory in the Superbike race for AIM Yamaha last year and is hungry for more success while Steve Allan is to contest the 600cc race for the team. Having won the title for the last two years he will be looking to complete his hat trick this year.