Ryuichi Kiyonari sprung a surprise on Saturday at Knockhill to claim his first British Superbike pole position for four years. The three-time champion showed something like his best form to edge out championship frontrunners Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne in the closest Datatag Extreme Qualifying session of the year so far.
Provisional pole position switched hands constantly throughout the final qualifying session with Kiyonari leading at the halfway mark, only to be usurped by Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha. With a couple of minutes remaining, Stuart Easton threatened a shock pole for the Scottish rider on Scottish soil with a 48.172 but his joy was short-lived as Brookes bounced back to the top.
With a 48.116 on the board, Brookes called it a day and returned to the pitlane and he was in for a nasty shock when Kiyonari completed his final lap, the BMW rider sneaking under Josh’s time by four thousandths of a second.
Kiyonari currently lies twelve points off the showdown positions and confident of making inroads tomorrow if his race pace matches his qualifying performance.
“I am very happy and feel confident with the bike that I can push on. I did faster laps, then went back some places and then on the last lap I knew I had to push and just thought ‘go’. We will push hard tomorrow and hopefully we can win, or at least be on the podium. I will try one hundred percent again for the races.”
Shane Byrne completes the front row for tomorrow ahead of his teammate Easton with James Ellison well placed to maintain his 100% podium record from fifth. James Westmoreland qualified sixth with Tommy Bridewell right behind but despite setting the seventh fastest time, the Milwaukee Yamaha rider will be demoted to tenth as punishment for ignoring a black and orange flag in FP3, pushing Jakub Smrz, Chris Walker and Michael Rutter up a place each.
|2014 MCE INSURANCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 4: KNOCKHILL|
|DATATAG EXTREME QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION|
|1||23. RYUICHI KIYONARI||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||48.112|
|2||3. JOSH BROOKES||YAMAHA||MILWAUKEE YAMAHA||48.116|
|3||67. SHANE BYRNE||KAWASAKI||RAPID SOLICITORS KAWASAKI||48.130|
|4||5. STUART EASTON||KAWASAKI||RAPID SOLICITORS KAWASAKI||48.172|
|5||77. JAMES ELLISON||KAWASAKI||LLOYDS BRITISH GBMOTO KAWASAKI||48.207|
|6||27. JAMES WESTMORELAND||BMW||BUILDBASE BMW MOTORRAD||48.297|
|7||96. JAKUB SMRZ||DUCATI||MILLSPORT DUCATI||48.326|
|8||9. CHRIS WALKER||KAWASAKI||LLOYDS BRITISH GBMOTO KAWASAKI||48.562|
|9||11. MICHAEL RUTTER||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||48.681|
|10||46. TOMMY BRIDEWELL||YAMAHA||MILWAUKEE YAMAHA||PENALTY|
|ELIMINATED IN Q2|
|11||7. BARRY BURRELL||KAWASAKI||TEAM WD40||48.608|
|12||4. DAN LINFOOT||KAWASAKI||QUATTRO PLANT KAWASAKI||48.619|
|13||21. JOHN HOPKINS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||48.640|
|14||24. PATRIC MUFF||BMW||BATHAMS PRIZE WINNING ALES||48.759|
|15||47. RICHARD COOPER||KAWASAKI||ANVIL HIRE TAG RACING||48.809|
|16||12. JOSH WATERS||SUZUKI||TYCO SUZUKI||48.900|
|17||60. PETER HICKMAN||HONDA||RAF RESERVES HONDA||49.068|
|18||303. KEITH FARMER||KAWASAKI||PR RACING KAWASAKI||49.152|
|ELIMINATED IN Q1|
|19||43. HOWIE MAINWARING||KAWASAKI||QUATTRO PLANT KAWASAKI||49.034|
|20||64. AARON ZANOTTI||SUZUKI||GGH/STEL SUZUKI||49.052|
|21||10. JON KIRKHAM||KAWASAKI||TSINGTAO WK KAWASAKI||49.111|
|22||15. BEN WILSON||KAWASAKI||GEARLINK KAWASAKI||49.203|
|23||8. IAN HUTCHINSON||YAMAHA||FFX YAMAHA||49.285|
|24||56. JOHN INGRAM||KAWASAKI||MORELLO RACING||49.322|
|25||20. JENNY TINMOUTH||HONDA||TWR||50.055|
|26||50. HARRY HARTLEY||KAWASAKI||HALSALL BIKE GEAR||NO TIME|