Plater, from Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire had completed first qualifying on provisional pole but was forced out of the final session on Friday with a misfire to the AIM Yamaha R1. Although he was unable to post a competitive time in the final session, his previous time was sufficient to claim fourth place on the grid for Saturday’s 15-lap race.
“I was under the lap record in morning warm-up,” said Plater. “And knew I could lap quicker in the race once half the fuel load had gone so am feeling confident. As long as the misfire doesn’t return I should be there or thereabouts and although I don’t like to make predictions about the result, if I don’t win today then whoever does will have to earn it!!”
As the lights heralded the start it was John McGuinness who got the hole shot but Plater was quick to anticipate the lights and moved straight into third place before passing Michael Rutter at the fast Mandarin corner and then attacked McGuinness for the race lead.
“I didn’t want John to take charge of the race,” said Plater. “So I passed him at San Francisco Hill and was able to control the pace from then on.”
Lap two saw McGuinness regain the lead and the pair began to pull away from the pursuing pack. But Plater used every inch of the track in an effort to stick with the multi-TT winner and forged back ahead at the hairpin on lap three.
“I put in three very fast laps, all a second under the existing record but John stuck with me,” said the 35-year-old race ace.
Steve held onto his slender lead for the remainder of the race, the gap between himself and McGuinness remaining under a second. But on the final lap the pair encountered some backmarkers as they approached the hairpin. Plater timed it to perfection, attacking the backmarkers at just the right place and shot past and onto the finish where he took the chequered flag for his second win in as many years with a four second advantage over McGuinness.
“I knew we'd come across back markers at the end so prepared to attack in
the right places leaving me a gap at the end and it worked to perfection,” said a jubilant Steve Plater. “I suffered with arm pump throughout the race due to my injuries from Qatar last week, which made it very hard to feel the throttle and front brake lever. But I managed to relax wherever possible so I remained strong till the end.
“This is a mega end to season for me and also for AIM and Yamaha who have won both the Superbike and Supersport classes, which I think is the first time a team has won both!”