Steve Plater (pictured) makes a racing return to the British Superbike Championship at his local Cadwell Park circuit for the double race ninth round of the series, which again focuses on the power-battle for supremacy in the title stakes between the two dueling former champions Steve Hislop and John Reynolds.

The pace-makers in the scrap for the crown have each won eight races as they have dominated the exchanges so far and only six points separate them as they power into the demanding Lincolnshire circuit for what is certain to be a Bank Holiday Monday thriller on August 26.

However, their plans and expectations could be upset by the returning force of Plater to his home circuit aboard the Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha.

The Lincolnshire race-ace tested the bike extensively last week and is delighted to be back in the heat of the action. "Testing was really good and I enjoyed it. I'm really pleased to be back in the series and I am feeling great for these races at a circuit that always excited me and which is my favourite.''

Plater, who has missed the previous two rounds of the series after initially the Kawasaki team was sidelined amid sponsorship funding problems for the Oulton Park round, is also competing in the World Supersport series but is able to ride in non-clashing domestic races.

''I'm delighted to see him back in action. It seemed so unfair that he should be sitting on the sidelines when we all needed him to be out there on the country's biggest stage and where better for him to start than at his own local track,'' said Yamaha team-boss Rob McElnea.

Plater will join the team's regular riders James Haydon and Jamie Robinson for the races at Cadwell Park and he cannot wait to get going on a circuit on which he made his racing debut and which he describes as, "the most awesome in the country - everything that a motorcycle circuit should be. It's narrow, fast with a tricky woodland section and there's no feeling on earth like screaming over the mountain with your front wheel in the air, ahead of a chasing pack. And, it's got that other essential ingredient that all top circuits should have, it is just a little bit scary. I can't wait.''

His presence adds a further dimension to what is certain to be a hotly competitive affair. For MonsterMob Ducati rider Hislop and his Red Bull Ducati rival Reynolds the season has become a winner takes all affair. Neither can afford to slip and for each the importance is to finish ahead of the other in every race.

It will ensure terrific on-track action, with other riders, including the Yamaha trio, certain to be among the front running pack - keep an eye on another local favourite, Paul Brown, a former British 250cc and Supersport Champion, back on home ground and keen to show well aboard the Dienza Ducati. Michael Rutter is also looking good on the Kawasaki, while John Crawford is overdue success with the Clarion Suzuki team but the speedy Sean Emmett, aboard the second Red Bull Ducati, could cause an upset.

Around the two British Superbike races there is a full Bank Holiday Monday sporting programme with the continuing battles for other five championships. Casey Stoner, the 15-year-old Aussie, with six wins from six starts, holds the upper-hand in the 125cc title chase ahead of Paul Robinson and Leon Camier, while in the 250cc class, Adrian Coates, Shane Norval and Darren Barton are the front-runners for honours.

Kirk McCarthy, riding for the Louth-based Castrol Honda team, heads the British Supersport title chase with his teamster John McGuinness fourth in the rankings, just adrift of Matt Llewellyn and Karl Harris, while Paul Young defends a 45-point advantage over Dave Jefferies in the Superstock series while Ben Wilson chases a sixth win in the Junior Superstock championship to edge nearer to the crown.

 

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