Oulton Park hosts the 17th and 18th rounds of the British Superbike Championship this weekend, and Honda Racing's Steve Plater and Mark Heckles enter the final third of the season with the firm intention of improving their respective positions in the series.

Plater has been in superb form over the past three months with a string of consistent top six placings, including three podium finishes.

That has catapulted him into the top six for this year's British Superbike Championship, 37 points behind third-placed Michael Rutter, a pre-season title favourite, and only four in arrears of Glen Richards in fourth.

"My aim is to finish at least fourth overall in the championship," said the 30-year-old Lincolnshire rider. "I'll be giving it 110 per cent to achieve this over the final eight races and working hard with Dunlop and Honda Racing to get the best out of the bike. The pace will be hot at Oulton - as well as the weather - and so it'll be important for me to qualify higher up the grid and get a good start in each race.

"Coming off the back of my performance at Mondello Park, I've got every confidence of finishing on the podium again. On paper my results may not seem that impressive, but I honestly believe that I rode as well there on race day as I have done all season. So, while my target is to finish fourth in the championship I am confident that it is possible to catch Michael Rutter in third," he stated.

Heckles is also in buoyant mood after recovering from injuries sustained in a practice crash at Brands Hatch in June. The 27-year-old Liverpudlian has shown tremendous courage and sheer determination to even compete at the two events, never mind scoring valuable points towards his championship tally.

"I've really benefited from the rest that I've had in the past three weeks since Mondello Park," he admitted. "My aim now is to put all of that behind me and get on with the job for Honda Racing. Oulton Park is my local circuit and I will have a lot of support there from my friends and family. Nothing would give me more satisfaction than being able to record my best results of the year on the VTR1000 SP-2."



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