Steve Plater retired from the 19th round of the British Superbike Championship while he was disputing the lead with Shane Byrne and John Reynolds.

The Honda Racing star made an excellent start from the front row of the grid and came away from the first corner in third position.

The three-way battle for the lead materialised over the first third of the 18-lap race, with Plater using the superb handling characteristics of his VTR1000 SP-2 to good effect.

The Sky Sports' on-board camera on Plater's Honda Racing machine showed the live television audience just how close he was dicing with his adversaries.

However, after spells in first, second and third positions, Plater was forced into retirement after the chain came off his bike at the Mountain on lap six. The 31-year-old Lincolnshire rider tried to fix the problem, but in doing so allowed the VTR to fall onto its side and broke its footrest.

"I was running comfortably at the front of the field with Shakey and John when disaster struck," said Plater, "It was such a pity because it's probably the best I've felt on the bike all season. There's no doubt that we were on the pace and at least I've got the consolation of having another crack in the second race.

"The Mountain is a section of the track which is prone to this type of mechanical problem and it was just my luck that it happened to me! I was desperate to try and rectify the problem, but it backfired on me when the bike tumbled over. Then there really was nothing else I could do with a broken footrest and I had to pull into the pits."

 

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