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AIM YAMAHA CLAIM VICTORY AT NW200

Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Monday, May 19 2008




The first Superbike race was a challenge for both riders who had been having suspension and set up issues throughout qualifying but K-Tech and the AIM Yamaha technicians worked hard throughout the week and both bikes were up and ready for racing on Saturday.



After altering his gearing to account for the wind, Plater completed the five-lap affair in fourth place while Hutchy was seventh and on reflection the Woodhall Spa ace admitted he should have left the gearing as it was because although he could run with the leaders he was unable to capitalise on the slipstreaming and get ahead.



Plater was in scintillating form and rode a blinder of a race in the first Supersport event to claim both the win and the lap record for AIM Yamaha while Hutchy completed the course in a close fourth place.



Plater proved he was the man to beat in the feature race of the day, The Blackhorse Motorcycle Finance NW200 Superbike race run over six laps of the 8.966-mile causeway course.



Plater was soon up to second place and again there was some close and exciting racing within a group of six riders who were covered by less than a couple of seconds with any one of them capable of taking the victory.



On the final lap Plater was shuffled back to third place but drafted back past Rutter and Cameron Donald to take the lead and held on for grim life to take the chequered flag for his third successive win in the prestigious event.



Meanwhile Hutchinson crossed the finish line in eighth position just a second behind Amor.



Plater had little time for the podium celebrations, as he was straight back out on track for the final race of the day.



But the race was red flagged after the first lap when Guy Martin crashed unhurt at Black Hill. At the restart Hutchinson was first to show his hand and led the field around Bally Sally roundabout. But Plater was in his tyre tracks and forged ahead as they sped towards Metropole. There followed a mighty battle of wits between Plater, Hutchinson Seeley and Steve Brogan all trying to draft each other along the straights. The group were separated by less than 1 Ĺ seconds with the two AIM Yamaha riders in the thick of the action.



Eventually Keith Amor and Ian Lougher joined in the fun and it was anyoneís guess as to the outcome. Hutchinson was seen to slow and retire with a burst water hose leaving the way clear for Plater to head the pack.



As the group hurtled towards the final chicane it was Plater who had a slight advantage and he crossed the finish line to take his third win of the day ahead of Seeley and Lougher.



STEVE PLATER



That wasnít a bad day at the office. For me it was mega as I have had my fair share of disappointment already this year. I led the Le Mans 24-hour race for the first two hours before we had to pull out with a clutch issue and then led at Albacete for a while before ending up in fourth place, so to get the hat trick today is the icing on the cake. The team has done a fantastic job and given me the ingredients to win the main race of the day so I have to say a big thank you to them. Everyone has worked so very hard all week and itís nice to be able to repay them all with these results today.



IAN HUTCHINSON



I had a few problems with the bikes in qualifying and struggled a bit with the Superbike to be honest. But we appear to have got it right now and I am now looking forward to the TT, which starts next week. I was gutted to not finish the last Supersport race though as I had been leading for quite a while. If it hadnít been red flagged and re-started it could have been a different story as I was leading when it was stopped on the second lap.



ALISTAIR FLANAGAN



Itís been fantastic for AIM Yamaha today. Both riders have worked hard to bring home some strong results, in particular Steve Plater who has won three of his four races. The whole team have worked hard and itís a credit to them that he was able to produce such fantastic results.



AIM Yamaha now turn their attention to the Isle of Man TT races and have decided that because of the time factor and the need to have the bikes in place on the Island in time for Saturdayís first practice session then they will have to miss the Donington Park round of the British Superbike and Supersport championship.






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