BSB Knockhill Race One: Kiyonari Claims BMW’s First Win

Ryuichi Kiyonari ended his 47 race winning drought in the opening race of the day at Knockhill, handing BMW their first ever British Superbike victory in the process. The Japanese rider led every lap to confirm his revival after a sensational ride to pole position 24 hours earlier.

After making no mistakes at the start, Kiyonari eased away from a chasing pack led by Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne and as the championship frontrunners disputed second, Ryuichi raced clear to victory. Byrne found a way past Brookes on lap nine but was unable to close the two second gap to the leader as Kiyonari claimed a comfortable victory, made even more impressive after a crash in warm-up.

“I was very nervous before the start as I was very disappointed to have the crash which was my big mistake”, he admitted. “When the race started though it went and I thought ‘I can’t let Shakey’ get me’. I got the gap and tried hard to hold off Shakey which is never easy, but I enjoyed the race and the win. It feels so good to win again.”

After falling behind Byrne, Brookes faded as Stuart Easton snatched the final podium position on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki. The Scotsman’s race wasn’t without incident though with a slightly ambitious move at the final hairpin on lap two wiping James Ellison out of the race. In his absence, Chris Walker flew for the flag for GBmoto Kawasaki in fifth after edging out Tommy Bridewell while Dan Linfoot beat Barry Burrell and John Hopkins to seventh.