The intriguing fact that none of the British Superbike teams have ever competed at Mondello Park could mean unpredictable action around the 2.27 mile Kildare circuit this Sunday - and should also be advantageous to Honda Racing's Steve Plater and Mark Heckles...

Plater in particular has been doing his homework for the eighth round of the British Superbike Championship.

"I had a sneak preview of the circuit about three weeks ago," revealed the 30-year-old Lincolnshire rider. "I had the opportunity to ride the Honda SP-2 and CBR600RR road bikes during a track day and took full advantage of the track time, which enabled me to get a full understanding of what lies ahead on our first visit to the Irish circuit.

"I'm confident that I can continue the excellent progress that we've been making over the past couple of months and I'm sure that the bike will be on the pace," he added. "My recent results have helped to elevate me to fifth in the championship, but I know that there's more to come before the end of the season."

Team-mate Mark Heckles is still recovering from the injuries he sustained as the result of a crash at Brands Hatch four weeks ago. He rode through the pain barrier to make the grid at Rockingham and finished tenth on his first appearance at the Northamptonshire circuit.

"I've been going to the physio on a regular basis since my crash at Brands Hatch in an effort to get back to full fitness," explained the 27-year-old Liverpudlian. "I'm feeling much better now and am probably about 95 per cent fit.

"I think that Mondello Park will be a level playing field because most of us haven't raced there before. I haven't even seen the track yet, but my Irish friends have told me that it's really good and I'm looking forward to racing there. I just want to get out there and give it my best, so that I can hopefully score some points for Honda Racing," he concluded.



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