Steve Plater admits he is surprised to be starting the opening round of the British Superbike Championship from second on the grid - two positions higher than he managed in the Supersport class.

Plater will race for HM Plant Honda in the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport category in 2009, but is combining his commitments with a Superbike ride at Brands Hatch after Joshua Brookes was forced to withdraw with visa problems.

Nonethless, despite his relatively limited time on the bike, Plater has been a consistent front runner throughout the weekend, not least in qualifying when he posted the second quickest time for a strong front row start.

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Two positions better than he managed in the Supersport class, Plater admits he was surprised to be back to the sharp end of the grid.

"It was great to get the call up from HM Plant to ride the Superbike this weekend. I told the guys not to change anything Josh has been testing with, so we've chipped away constantly and we've been pretty much on the pace all weekend.

"I didn't expect to be front row in qualifying though - I thought I would be on the second row because I am jumping from the bikes all the time. Fourth on the Supersport and second on the Superbikes - I'm not going to whinge about that!"