H M Plant Honda’s Steve Plater was back to his winning ways at Croft in the Fuchs-Silkolene Supersport Championship after working his way up from qualifying ninth on the grid and to be ahead of Billy McConnell of MAP Raceways Yamaha to extend his lead by a further five points.
It was eventful from the start with Phil Seton of Linxcel-Seton Tuning, who stepped in to replace the injured Jason O’Halloran, being thrown from his R6 on the warm up lap, at present the reason why is unknown, but fortunately he walked away.
It was McConnell who led into the first corner with James Westmoreland of JW Racing/JT Performance, Ben Wilson of Gearlink Kawasaki and Ian Hutchinson of Padgetts Motorcycles who were all closely beind.
On lap one Hutchinson moved ahead of Wilson and Dan Linfoot of Node 4 Yamaha progressed up through the grid from his disappointing qualifying position of 13th. Plater on the first lap was down in seventh and for the first few laps before he started to make the attack.
Meanwhile at the front McConnell and Westmoreland gradually pulled away leading the train of riders beind them who had all settled into their places for the next few laps before the safety car came out due to a crash.
It was all change when on lap eight when the safety car went in and due to the gaps between riders closing up, the race truly to begin. Westmoreland was able to take the lead at the end of the start/finish straight as they turned in for the first corner. It was a lap later as they entered the final corner McConnell temporarily took the lead until Westmoreland regained it by a mirror overtake of his move a lap before.
This time it was the leading trio of riders ho pulled away but there was one particular rider who was on the charge, Plater. On lap 11 he moved ahead of Daniel Cooper of Centurion Racing for sixth to continue to hunt down Hutchinson, as he did the top seven drew closer together to be a continuous multicolour train of riders.
A lap later Plater moved up to fifth as Wilson moved to second ahead of McConnell pushing him back into the current championship leader and it wasn’t long before Plater was ahead of McConnell, just not what he needed.
Plater upped his game even more to interrupt the fairing to fairing battle between Wilson and Westmoreland to pick them off one by one and take the lead, but McConnell was not backing down and did the same by following him through.
On the final lap the battle was fully on and after numerous moves it was Plater who won by 0.298s. Wilson took third and Westmoreland who went from first to fourth in a couple of corners finished just off the podium, but ahead of Hutchinson.
Linfoot did great damage limitation to finish seventh overall and Marty Nutt of Nutt Travel.com/T &G along with Allan Jon Venter of MAP Raceways Yamaha continued their strong weekend to finish in eighth and ninth ahead of Jack Kennedy of Macadam Racing who rounded off the top ten.
It wasn’t such a good race for some of the cup riders with two of the title challengers crashing out Robbie Brown of AGB Transport/Packet Media who is currently second in the overall standings also crashed on Friday severely damaging his bike and has been struggling ever since.
Dean Hipwell of Atherton Godfrey Solicitors went into the weekend suffering from a broken back and has crashed every day this weekend. Things truly haven’t gone his way, but there is no stopping him or his determination in improving on his overall current third championship standing.
This left Sam Lowes of Team Co-Ordit to take the cup win in 14th overall, who will miss the next round at Silverstone due to World racing commitments making it a slightly better opportunity for the others to pick up 25 points. Peter Ward of TAG Triumph in 17th took second and David Paton of Team Paramed UK took the third place trophy.