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Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 17 2008

The decision to switch classes for Snetterton was taken by AIM Yamaha because the team had insufficient time to get the Superbike up and running after returning from the Isle of Man TT races and instead of pulling out of the meeting all together it was decided to let Plater join his teammate Ian Hutchinson in the highly competitive Supersport class.

Although Plater is familiar with the bike on which he won two races at the North West 200 meeting in Ireland and went on to take his first victory in the Junior TT recently, he has not ridden in the British series for some years now and will need time to ease himself back into the class.

He also has to contend with a change of tyre manufacturer as the series now runs under a one-make tyre ruling with Pirelli and not his familiar Dunlop tyres.

“I have no idea how I will fare,” said the 36-year-old Lincolnshire rider. “It’s a completely different ball game riding on a short circuit to racing on the roads.”

But he needn’t have concerned himself with the change as he was immediately on the pace, recording the fourth fastest time in free practice ahead of qualifying.

First practice in the dry saw Plater gain in confidence and secure the second fastest time and with rain falling in the second session he retained his position for a front row start to Sunday’s 18-lap encounter.

As the race got underway Steve maintained his second place behind series leader Glen Richards after relinquishing it briefly to Hudson Kennaugh and by the midway stage of the race the top four riders had pulled away from the pack as they jostled for supremacy.

Plater hit the front on lap eight but Richards was not going to give up without a fight and the pair exchanged positions over the next few laps. But Plater found that extra bit of speed and forged ahead once more on lap 12, this time making the move stick.

The race was brought to a premature end two laps later when a fallen rider caused the red flag to come out and a result was declared at positions on lap 13 giving Plater the win he so deserved.

“I got away to a good start,” said Plater. “I wasn’t quite sure how that would go because I only did one practice start prior to the race and have never started a short circuit race on the bike before but it all went very well for me.

“I got off the line to a cracking start just behind Glen Richards. Kennaugh came past me briefly but I passed him straight back and set off after Glen to eventually take the lead. We had a bit of a tussle passing each other a couple of times but it was all nice and clean and no big deal. Then I managed to get back in front and put in a few decent laps. We were both keen to lead over the start line each lap because we were concerned about the big, black clouds looming in the distance and thought the race may be stopped early for rain. But before the rain came the race was stopped for an incident at Russells and I was ahead and declared the winner.

“I adapted well to the Pirelli tyres, I was panicking a bit in case it was a wet race as I had never ridden on Pirelli wets but the treaded tyres we were on worked well and I was quite happy out there.”

It was a popular win for the ever-smiling rider who was delighted to be back on the top step of the podium.

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