Honda Racing's Steve Plater qualified eighth today [Saturday] for the first round of the British Superbike Championship after a dramatic Dunlop Super 12 qualifying session.

The 30-year-old Lincolnshire rider powered his factory Honda Racing VTR1000 SP-2 around the International Circuit in a time of 1m 28.295s, two seconds down on pole position setter Michael Rutter.

The ever-smiling Plater is happy with the improvement in his times on the second day and is confident of making further progress in the two 22-lap races.

"We've been trying out a few new things on the Honda Racing SP-2 since we arrived here at Silverstone," noted Plater. "The team has been working hard on finding the best set-up for the races and we've been able to move forward from the homework we've been doing overnight.

"The Honda Racing strategy has been to concentrate on race set-up and it looks like it will pay off. I've been doing my best times on a Dunlop race tyre, so that bodes well for tomorrow.

"I'm really looking forward to getting down to racing, because we've tested everything that we need to over the winter and now I just want to get on with it. The racing is usually very close on this track, so it was important to get on the front two rows."