|PLATER CLAIMS POLE FOR AIM YAMAHA AT NW200|
Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Friday, May 16 2008
Steve Plater has claimed pole position for the start of the two Supersport races at the Kennedy International North West 200 races on Saturday while AIM Yamaha teammate Ian Hutchinson was fourth fastest and will start from row two.
Plater had been running pole for most of the session until Alastair Seeley posted a quick lap towards the end of Thursday’s final qualifying to take over at the top of the timing sheet. But Plater was quick to respond with a time of 4m 33.749 seconds on his very last lap beating Seeley by 0.503s to start Saturday’s two Supersport races from pole position. Last year Plater finished second and a very close fourth in the two six-lap events and will be hungry for the win this time around.
A previous three times winner in the Superbike class and the current lap record holder, Plater will start the Superbike race and the feature race of the day, The Kennedy International North West 200, from a second row grid position after encountering a few niggling problems with the suspension on the AIM Yamaha R1.
Hutchy was carrying an injury last year which affected his performance but this time he is fighting fit and feeling positive for a strong result both in Superbike and Supersport.
He will start from 10th after he to encountered problems but after further adjustments both Superbikes appear to be in tip top shape for the two six-lap races on Saturday.
Its been a bit busy for me over the last few weeks as I have done a lot of testing plus two World Endurance races and some BSB races in the run up to the roads season. It has actually helped me because although I train hard all the time you can’t beat miles on the machine to keep bike fit. For example for the Le Mans 24-hour race you do more miles in testing and on race day than you do at a full BSB season but on saying that its slightly different coming over here and racing on public roads and I still need to get a good few laps under my belt in practice to get settled back into road mode. We seem to have found a good race set up now and I will be trying my best on Saturday to pull off four good results For AIM Yamaha.
I was a bit frustrated on Tuesday as I was unable to get a qualifying time in with either bike. But it all seemed to come together on Thursday and I am feeling more comfortable with both machines.
Roads close at 10am with racing starting at 11am.
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