The decision to switch classes for Snetterton was taken 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 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 then his first victory in the Junior TT recently, he has not ridden in the British series for some years now and it was thought he would 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.
But Plater adapted quickly both to the bike and the Pirelli tyres and recorded the second fastest time during qualifying to claim a front row start to Sunday’s 18-lap affair.
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.
Meanwhile Hutchy started the race from 15th place and was beginning to make progress when, on the second lap, he had to run wide to avoid a collision with a fallen rider. That dropped him right down the field to 22nd place with a lot of work ahead of him to play catch up.
Although he did begin to make up places he encountered a few problems and pulled into the pits to retire at the end of lap seven.
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.
Hutchy had to run onto the grass on the back straight to avoid the collision and that’s what caused him all the problems in the race and of course he started from 15th on the grid, which didn’t help.
Next round – Mallory Park – June 29