HM Plant Honda Ends Season On A High
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HM Plant Honda Ends Season On A High
[Image: hondahdr.gif]

The HM Plant Honda team finished the 2009 BSB season on a high at Oulton Park this weekend, with Steve Plater taking his British Supersport campaign to the wire but securing the Championship title on his CBR600RR.

In the British Superbike class Josh Brookes was placed fourth in the overall points despite missing three race meetings, while team-mate Glen Richards ended his season in 12th place after being absent from five rounds of the series due to injury.

Steve Brogan and John McGuinness on the Padgetts Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades further sealed second and third places respectively in the British Superstock 1000 class.


Qualifying: Josh Brookes 6th / Glen Richards 11th.
Race 1 (16 laps): Josh Brookes DNF / Glen Richards 11th
Race 2 (16 laps): Josh Brookes 7th / Glen Richards 10th
Race 3 (16 laps): Josh Brookes 3rd / Glen Richards 8th

In the first of three races at Oulton Park, run on Saturday, Josh Brookes was unlucky to encounter a technical problem on the second lap whilst negotiating Cascades and running in a strong second place. Shortly afterwards the race was red flagged for an incident involving Karl Harris and a reduced 12 lap race was run, but because Josh was not circulating when the race was stopped he was not permitted to re-start. Glen Richards was able to maintain his qualifying position to finish the shortened race in 11th place.

Race two, the first of two outings on Sunday, didn't go according to plan for either HM Plant Honda rider. Josh fell back from an initial fifth place in the early stages to complete the 16 laps in seventh position, while Glen Richards lost time when the pace car went in and had to play catch up, to end his race in 10th position.

Race three gave the team its best results of the weekend in the Superbike class with Josh claiming third place for the ninth time in the current campaign and Glen Richards improving yet once again to end his season with an eighth in the final race. The race was once again disrupted by a red flag, this time on the first lap. After a lengthy delay the race was re-run over a shortened distance of 12 laps with Josh holding third for the majority of the laps while Glen rode to another strong result in eighth position, despite an aching leg from his earlier season injury.

Josh Brookes

"It's been both a good and frustrating weekend, but I'm pleased to have finished the final race of the season on the podium. We've got a good base setting with the bike but we've been using our time at the races to also try some different set-up directions, which sometimes we get right and sometimes we don't get the result we were looking for, so this has affected my ability to be as consistent as both me and the team would have liked from weekend to weekend. In the first race today I didn't feel comfortable with our chosen settings at all, but for race two we made some changes and I felt I was able to push much harder."

Glen Richards

"It felt good to be back racing again but Oulton is a track where you have to be ‘on it' most of the time and my leg has certainly felt that this weekend. In the first race today I cannot believe I was so stupid. The pace car came out which I used as an opportunity to give my leg a bit of a rest, but the only problem was I was still thinking about my leg rather than realising the car had gone in and lost a load of time. I think it's the most embarrassing thing I have ever done in my race career! Going into this weekend I wasn't sure how much my leg would be able to stand up to. I'm frustrated that I wasn't able to do better but happy that I gave it my all and was able to return for the last race of the season and finish all three races with reasonable positions."


Qualifying: Pole
Race (15 laps): 1st to secure 2009 British Supersport Championship title

Steve Plater claimed victory in the final race of the season to not only take the race win but also seal the British Supersport Championship with a 36 point advantage over his nearest rival, Billy McConnell.

Starting from pole position, Steve settled into second place behind fellow Lincolnshire rider Ben Wilson. The pair were swiftly followed by McConnell and James Westmoreland and all four steadily pulled away from the pursuing pack.

On lap three McConnell took the lead with Plater in his tyre tracks but Westmoreland was also anxious to claim a victory and followed through. McConnell pulled clear but as the race went on Plater began to claw back the deficit taking over a second out of him on lap nine before snatching the lead one lap later.

Westmoreland stayed in close formation and as McConnell dropped back it was left to Plater and Westmoreland to battle it out for the win. With two laps to go the pair were head to head as they exited Druids but Plater got the racing line and held station for the remainder of the race to claim the victory and the championship.

Steve Plater

"I really wanted to win the race, as well as to win the championship. It's ok to finish in the points or on the podium but it's not really my way. There is nothing better than to stand on the top step and obviously Billy had three wins, I had three wins and Westy had two so if Westy won it would have given us three wins apiece. As it is now I have had more podiums than anyone else, more wins and now the championship so that's nice. It's mega to put the championship to bed here at Oulton Park and it's a big relief as much as anything else as for the last four or five rounds it's been a closely fought thing. It's also mega for HM Plant Honda and all my family, fans and all the people who have been ringing and texting me this last few weeks, who I'd like to thank for their continued support."


Qualifying: John McGuinness 7th / Steve Brogan 1st
Race (14 laps): John McGuinness 10th / Steve Brogan 4th

The final race of the season didn't quite go to plan for Steve Brogan who was deemed to have jumped the start and was awarded a ride through penalty. He left the circuit whilst leading the race to complete his ride through and re-joined down in 17th place. Less determined riders may have been disheartened, but Brogie got his head down and began to mount his come-back. He passed the midfielders three and four at a time until he reached fourth place and was only just over a second away from a podium finish, but ran out of laps and had to settle for fourth.

John McGuinness began well and moved through to sixth place mid race but faded back to end the race in 10th position, due to pain from his broken ribs and right hand.

Steve Brogan

"I'm gutted, for me, the Padgetts team and Honda to not get the win today as it would have been a great way to repay everyone for their support and hard work this year. We've had a whole season of incredibly hard work by everyone so to not be rewarded with a win is painful, and even more so when it was my own stupid mistake of a jump start which gave me the ride through penalty. Up till that point I was feeling completely comfortable leading the race with me and the bike working perfectly as a package. I knew while riding through the pit lane that my chance of winning was gone and there was a small part of me which could have given up there and then, but I kept focused on the fact that I could still secure second in the championship and that spurred me on to fight my way back up through the field. To come from 17th to 4th isn't bad and I know with just one more lap I'd have been on the podium, so have to try and take some encouragement from that. The Padgetts team and Honda have been fantastic and I'd like to thank everyone for this year which has been great."

John McGuinness

"A tenth place finish isn't where I want to be or know I can be but my broken ribs and right hand have meant I've just not been able to push as hard as I normally would I was riding as hard as I could to secure third place in the championship but once I knew Cooper was out and my third place was secure, I felt it was better to not risk any further damage to my hand so backed off a bit, so finished the race in 10th. I've had an awesome season, enjoyed every minute of it and would like to thank Honda and Clive and all the Padgetts team for this year."


Havier Beltran - HM Plant Honda Team Manager

"We've certainly had a season of highs and lows but we're delighted to come away from this final round with Steve securing the British Supersport Championship, Josh achieving another podium in Superbikes for HM Plant Honda and the Padgetts Honda squad securing second and third in the Superstock 1000 championship with Steve and John. We're pleased Glen was able to be back with us for this final round to complete the team and he has ridden very well this weekend although his leg has caused him quite a bit of pain. Finishing 4th and 12th in the BSB Championship is not where we would want to be, but, considering Glen and Josh have both had to miss races this year I think the riders and the team have done a superb job. I would like to thank everyone involved with the HM Plant Honda team, from our riders and mechanics, to sponsors, suppliers, hospitality crew, Honda (UK), championship organisers and the fans for their involvement with the team and support during this season."
Be right back. I am going to go find myself, and if I leave before I get back, make sure to tell me !! -
12-10-2009, 06:55 PM
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