Honda UK rider Steve Plater set the pace at the end of the first days running at Valencia, declaring the day both 'productive and positive' as the Brit put his SP-2 through its paces at the technical Spanish circuit.

"My day has been very positive and productive as we worked through our test schedule," he began. "I'm now getting a much better feeling and understanding for the SP-2. We tested three different fork valvings and two different fork coatings - the results were very positive.

"Our main aim was to get to grips with the Dunlop tyres as I really struggled in Almeria with tyre wear," revealed Plater. "We've managed to iron out that problem here. We are completing a good race distance from the race compound tyres.

"My aim is to keep lapping faster, but the times I was doing would have easily put me in the top ten in the World Superbike last weekend here. I managed to clock up a total of 86 laps, 344km, which certainly takes it's toll on you physically and mentally. But this is what it is all about. I'm so much happier now with the set up and really looking forward to the start of the season."

Joining Plater at Valencia were the Rizla Suzuki, Virgin Yamaha, Grafters-Appleyard Yamaha Superbike teams.

Reigning British Superbike Champion Steve Hislop crashed his Virgin Yamaha again, as did Karl Harris on his Supersport bike - both were uninjured.

Monstermob Ducati rider Shane Byrne and ETI Ducati's John Crawford join the test today [Monday].

Photo: Carly Rathmell.



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