It was a tough first British Superbike Race for the Honda Racing duo of Steve Plater and Mark Heckles today at Brands Hatch Indy.

Having qualified in tenth and 12th positions respectively, both riders made reasonable starts to the 30-lap race but it was red flagged after just two laps when a privateer crashed at Druids.

The restart saw Plater make a great start up to eighth place but a crash at Paddock Hill Bend on lap five brought out the safety car while debris was cleared off the circuit.

Once the safety car returned to the pits, Plater and Heckles were soon involved in titanic battles throughout the remainder of the race, eventually finishing in seventh and 11th respectively.

"That was a difficult race, it was hard to get a rhythm going with the red flag and safety car coming out, and I made a few mistakes while struggling for grip in the hot conditions," said Plater, "I was surprised to see Scott Smart come past me on the corners and be able to pull out a few bike lengths, so it was fortunate that I could use the power of the VTR1000 SP-2 to pass him on the straights. We'll try a different tyre for the second race and hope that the gamble pays off."

Heckles added: "I made a great start to the first race but after the red flag I didn't make the best of restarts so I left myself with a lot of work to do in the race. I lost the front end a couple of times at Paddock Hill and wasn't able to exploit the power of the SP-2's engine.

"The last thing I wanted to do was crash and injure myself again, so I dug deep and concentrated on making time up in sections where I was most confident. We'll make a few changes for race two so that I can go out and try to give Honda Racing the result it deserves."

 

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