Steve Plater stood on top of the podium as elated winners after a thrilling second British Superbike race at Oulton Park, Cheshire saw the red and black bikes home first.

The win was met with the roaring cheers of the record crowd at a sun-kissed circuit, with the good news for the Virgin Mobile team continuing as team-mate Simon Crafar took a fantastic third place finish.

"I can't describe how good it feels to be on the top of the podium," a bubbling Plater, soaked in Champagne after the celebrations, said. "This is such a huge moment for myself and the team. This is my first Superbike win. This is the first win for the Yamaha R1. This is the first win for Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha.

"It's all my Christmas' at once," he added. "I really can't put into words how great this feels."

Plater was mobbed by waiting press and TV crews as he took the winner's laurels, despite the huge interest in the star he still made a point of paying tribute to team-mate Crafar and the work of the whole team.

"Simon deserves to be on the top step more than I do really, he's been tasked with the development work on the Yamaha R1 and has worked so hard to bring the bike on," said Plater gracefully. "The mechanics, the sponsors and the whole team too... I can't thank everybody enough and I am over the moon to be able to give them the win they've all worked so hard for."

In return, Crafar was also keen to pay tribute to his team-mate. "Steve was riding the bike perfectly out there. He thoroughly deserved the win. I know we were both running at a very quick pace and Steve didn't put a wheel wrong, " said Crafar. "I am real happy for Steve to get this win, for himself and the team. All the guys have been working real hard to get the victory and everyone hugely deserves it. We're gonna have a few beers tonight to celebrate for sure!"

Team boss Rob McElnea, relishing the first win for the team since the penultimate round of the series in 1998, added: "It's been a long time coming and we needed to get a win. This is a great result for everyone involved, the mechanics, sponsors and everybody else who helps us put the team together and race every weekend.

"I think we'll see an even faster Steve Plater now he has got that first win on the board," McElnea warned. "Like other riders who have taken their first win in the series, Steve now has that hurdle of the first time on top of the podium behind him.

"He's been able to lap at record pace in a host of races and now is in the record books as a winner in the British Superbike Championship - the toughest domestic series in the world. I think that will help him get more wins in the future."



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