Steve Plater has confessed that following his crash during practice for last weekend's North West 200 and subsequent trip to hospital, he is now 'highly unlikely' to take part in the iconic TT meeting later this year - and will therefore be unable to defend his Senior TT crown from 2009.

Riding for HM Plant Honda, Plater went down on Thursday at the last corner of the Irish road racing course, Quarry Hill, after losing control of his Honda Fireblade and sliding into the catch-fencing with a hefty impact, leaving the 37-year-old with a broken left forearm, for which he underwent an operation the following day to put a plate into the break. He admitted that he has been touched by all the support he has received since the injury.

"I've been overwhelmed by all the well-wishes via text, 'phone and email and can't thank everyone enough for their kind words and support, or thank all the medical staff enough, both at the hospital and trackside, who have played a part in helping me feel more comfortable," he is quoted as having said by Isle of Man Today.

"I just want to focus on making sure my arm has the chance to completely recover, but I'm also determined to be back on my Honda Fireblade as soon as possible. Being able to compete at the TT is highly unlikely, though, and I'm gutted about that."

Aside from his Senior TT triumph last year - his second victory in the event to-date, and en route to which he set a new course record to finish in 1hr 45min 53.15 secs, at an average speed of 128.278mph - Plater inherited the top spot in the 2008 Supersport TT race after the on-the-road winner was excluded. Prior to that, he was voted best newcomer in 2007, having been mentored by Mick Grant.

The Lincolnshire ace also claimed NW200 glory in 2009, and is the current Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship leader - though with the next outing at Cadwell Park this weekend, he looks likely to find himself swiftly overhauled.

'Steve is fortunate to have come away from his high-speed crash with relatively minor injuries,' added a statement from HM Plant Honda, 'and this is testament to the FIM-approved safety bales which absorbed the majority of the impact, the quality of Steve's leathers and helmet and also his quick-thinking, as when he knew he was sliding towards the kerb he picked his legs up to minimise any further injury.

'Steve remembers the whole accident and, although in pain, was talking to paramedics and HM Plant Honda's team manager, Harvey Beltran, before being taken to hospital by ambulance - in fact, the first thing he said was to ask Harvey to call his wife, and reeled off her number.'