Steve Plater won the 17th round of the British Superbike Championship in spectacular fashion from Yugio Kagayama and Sean Emmett at Oulton Park today.

The Honda Racing star rode brilliantly from start to finish in the most challenging of conditions in front of an appreciative crowd.

Mark Heckles finished seventh on the second Honda Racing VTR1000 SP-2 after wrongly selecting intermediate tyres for the quickly drying track.

A wet race was declared before the start of the 18-lap event due to the damp conditions. Most of the leading riders opted for slick tyres with the warm air temperature allowing the appearance of a dry line around the undulating Cheshire track.

Plater powered off the line on his VTR1000 SP-2 and into the first bend in fifth place. However, the 30-year-old Lincolnshire rider was up to third at the end of the first lap and then into the lead at the beginning of lap three. Emmett, Shane Byrne and latterly Kagayama joined Plater in a four-way battle for the lead that thrilled the huge banks of spectators.

Championship leader Byrne crashed out on lap ten and then the race came to a premature end three laps later. An incident involving a number of riders had left the officials with no choice but to put out the red flags. Plater had led for the previous four laps and so was declared the winner as the event had passed two-thirds race distance.

"It's good to see Honda Racing on top of the podium for the first time in the Superbike class this season," said Plater, "It was a hard race in the conditions and it was always going to be a case of who dares wins. I kept a consistent pace and felt comfortable at the front of the field. I decided to wait for the others to make a move rather than pushing too hard.

"It's a great result for the team and myself. That should give me the confidence to go on from here and continue to improve my sequence of results right through to the end of the season. The outcome of the next race will depend on the weather, but Steve Plater's back in winning form and in the mood for a double."

Team-mate Mark Heckles added: "I didn't really get the best of starts from the outside of the third row. That left me with a lot of work to do although I was also struggling with my choice of intermediate tyres. I didn't panic because I knew that some of those in front of me would be making mistakes - and so it proved. I'm delighted for Steve and the rest of the team, who have worked so hard all season to achieve this victory."

 

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