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Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Monday, Apr 21 2008

Qualifying had gone well for the Woodhall Spa racer who was part of a three man team racing for the French World Endurance Team, GMT94 Yamaha and along with David Checa and Sebastian Gimbert, Plater powered the Yamaha through to second place on the grid for the start of the 24-hour race on Saturday.

The weather affected the qualifying times and also played its part during the race with sunshine and then intermittent heavy showers causing teams a headache for tyre choice.

Checa started the race for the team but stalled the engine on the starting grid and was down in 26th position at the end of the first lap. He soon recovered and made progress through the field, posting some fast lap times until the rain began to fall. He pitted for a change of tyres at the end of lap seven and handed over to Plater who was to ride for the next hour.

Plater was quick to capitalise on the situation and began to move through the field, finally taking the race lead as the SERT number two bike left the track for a change of rider.

As soon as he got his nose in front Plater began to pull away and was leading the race by nearly a full lap when he handed over to Gimbert who continued to extend the race lead. But disaster struck at Dunlop Bend a few laps later when the clutch exploded leaving Gimbert stranded and out of the race.

I am so disappointed to be out of the race after just two hours. Although we had a long way to go, 22 hours, we had a commanding lead and would have been on for at least a podium finish if not the win.

The whole team has put so much effort into this weekend of racing and this is a disappointing outcome for all of us. But the positive thing is that we know we can run at the front of the pack and we will determined to continue in the same vein at the Bol dOr 24-hour race in September where we will be looking for a strong finish.

Plater returns to action with AIM Yamaha on May 6 when he will ride the R1 Superbike in round three of the British Superbike championship.

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