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Plater wins, hiccup for Hizzy

1 September 2002

Steve Plater grabbed maiden victory in the British Superbike Championship after a dramatic ending to the second race of the eleventh round at Oulton Park as the series leader and opening race winner Steve Hislop pulled out on the penultimate lap with machine problems.

Flying Scot Hislop had been looking good to complete his third winning double of the season at the Cheshire circuit where he had shattered the lap record to claim Superpole start and went on to break his own lap record three times during the two 18 lap races.

In the first Superbike race of the day he was content to hang in behind the Renegade Ducati duo of Shane Byrne and Michael Rutter, who each led for lengthy spells, before asserting himself and claiming the lead with four laps remaining.

''I had a few problems on the first lap, the rear wheel seemed a bit unstable and it was just a case of getting on with the job. It was a hard race, but an enjoyable one,'' Hislop explained after taking his seventh victory of the season, by 2.3 seconds from Byrne.

In the second race Rutter made the running, but Hislop reduced the record to 1m 31.532s and briefly took the lead on the sixth lap, only for Rutter to regain the advantage and hold on for the next six laps before the Scot again hit the front.

John Reynolds nosed ahead, but Hislop was keen to complete a third daily double of the campaign and was ahead on the penultimate lap, only for machine problems to force him out. Virgin Mobile Aiwa's Steve Plater roared through, hotly pursued by Reynolds, to set up a fierce last lap duel for supremacy.

Reynolds, the outgoing Champion forced his Rizla Suzuki ahead going into Lodge Corner for the last time, but amazingly Plater hit back, racing to the line and claiming his maiden glory in the series by just 0.312 seconds, giving the Scunthorpe based outfit their first victory since September 1998.

''That was fantastic, this is not my best circuit and a top three finish would have been good, but winning is just brilliant. I got behind Hizzy and was pushing him really hard, then I saw a bit of blue smoke from his bike and I was ahead,'' a delighted Plater explained.

A disappointed Hislop took some consolation in that his lead over Sean Emmett increased to 56 points with two rounds to go. The Weybridge-based rider, who injured his left hand in a heavy crash during qualifying, rode in some discomfort, taking ninth and sixth placings.

Championship points after Round Eleven:

1. Hislop 395
2. Emmett 339
3. Rutter 316.5
4. Byrne 257.5
5. Reynolds 244.5
6. Plater 229
7. Brown 159.5
8. Crafar 157
9. Richards 140.5
10. Thomas 112
11. Ellison 108.5
12. Harris 91
13. Jones 50
14. Crawford 50
15. Burr 47
16. Mason 35.5
17. Young 35
18. Norval 34
19. Jefferies 32
20. Bussei 30
21. Morley 30
22.Coates 22
23. Robinson 20
24.Davis 19.5
25. Giles 15
26. Jackson 13
27. Nutt 11
28. Crockford 5
29. Kirkham 4
30. Faulkner 3
31. McCulloch 3
32. Blackley 1.


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