British SuperbikeMotorcycles

Kiyonari Looking Forward After Winning Return

2 Mins read

Ryuichi Kiyonari is looking forward to the second half of the season after sparking his title challenge back into life with victory at Snetterton.

The Japanese rider had endured a difficult and his fifth place finish in race one increased his victory drought to eight races. But a collision on the final lap between John Hopkins and HM Plant Honda teammate Shane Byrne allowed him into the lead and 'Kiyo' was the grateful recipient of a much-needed win.

The reigning BSB champion admitted the victory came in fortunate circumstances but still admitted that it has provided him with a timely confidence boost.

“In race one I was feeling more confident but knew we had to find something extra for race two. I am of course happy for the win in race two and I was lucky as I could have been third rather than first. I found it very difficult to pass Josh Brookes and then I tried to catch the leading group and I think with more laps maybe I could have. I am sorry for Shakey and John but we needed the win here for our championship especially after some bad results. Our hard work has finally paid off and my confidence is high so now I look forward to Oulton Park.”

Meanwhile, Byrne strengthened his championship prospects despite losing a probable win in race two. With Hopkins and Tommy Hill proving too quick in the first race, 'Shakey' chose to take the safe option.

“In the beginning of the first race I was feeling really comfortable and was in touch with John (Hopkins) and Tommy (Hill). It was the first time I had done a long race run though and I was struggling with tyre longevity over the final laps”, he explained. “They were ahead and after the safety car I thought that it was better to take third and a Podium Credit than ending on the floor with a crash!”

After a suspension due to a serious accident at Riches, the shortened second race became a straight fight between Byrne and title rival Hopkins.

“The team has been working hard and in race two the boys had done such a great job to improve the HM Plant Honda Fireblade; by the restart I felt we had the pace to challenge for the win”, added Byrne.” It has taken us longer than expected to get up to the pace we needed this weekend and the HM Plant Honda Fireblade was feeling fantastic.”

Byrne made a beautiful move at Coram on the penultimate lap to snatch the lead but Hopkins reply didn't have the same results, instead running both men wide and dropping Byrne to fourth.

The American later apologised and Byrne is now looking to return to winning ways at the next round at Oulton Park.

“The race had been pretty hectic and I had got in front of Hopper the lap before and I was obviously disappointed to be taken out. He has since apologised but I was a bit gutted really as I thought I could have won that second race for HM Plant Honda. We will have to try and get that win at Oulton Park now!”

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