Steve Plater and Mark Heckles finished sixth and 11th respectively in the inaugural British Superbike event at Mondello Park.

The Honda Racing team-mates made good starts to the 17-lap race around the 2.27-mile Kildare circuit and scored some invaluable points towards their overall championship standings.

Eighth at the end of the first lap, Plater was unable to hold on to the leading pack of six riders in the early stages. However, he was able to hold his position behind eventual race winner John Reynolds by consistently recording the same times as the riders in front of him. He overcame Scott Smart to take seventh and then was elevated up to the top six when Gary Mason ran off the track in the closing stages of an exciting race.

"I was happy with my start and my overall performance in the race," commented Plater, "It's the same old story, I can run at the same pace as the leaders but need to qualify better so that I can get away with them in the opening laps. The VTR1000 SP-2 was superb throughout the whole race and I'm confident that I can maintain a similar pace in the next leg."

By his own admission, Heckles is still not fully fit following his heavy crash at Brands Hatch last month and so he won his own personal battle to complete the race in his Mondello Park debut.

"I'm really sore after that race and I must admit that I struggled with my physical fitness over full race distance," said Heckles, "It's a tight and twisty track, so you've got to change direction quite a lot and that hurts my back muscles. It was hard work to hang on to the bike for 17 laps."



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