British Superbike

Kiyonari pips Ellison for Donington Park pole position

2 Mins read

Ryuichi Kiyonari will start the first race of the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship from pole position on-board his Buildbase BMW.

Last season’s runner-up went to the top of the leaderboard with just over a minute left of the session, putting in a lap-time of 1:29.455, which was just 0.0s ahead of James Ellison.

They will be joined on the front row by reigning champion, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, who is still learning the new PBM Kawasaki package following his crash in pre-season testing.

The second row consists of Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha, Stuart Easton and the impressive Danny Buchan, who was again put in some quick lap-times throughout the qualifying sessions.

Peter Hickman heads row three on the RAF Reserves BMW ahead of Broc Parkes, who took advantage of the new ruling on crashes in practice and qualifying sessions to put the Milwaukee Yamaha eight on the grid.

Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot and 2014 British Supersport Champion, Billy McConnell, round out the top ten for tomorrow’s opening race.

It was Brookes who set the early pace in Q1 with a lap-time of 1:30.535 but it was a different story for his teammate, Parcs, who crashed going through Redgate Corner.

There was more drama to follow as Buildbase BMW rider, Lee Jackson, found himself in the gravel at the very same corner, his second crash of the weekend.

Buchan took the lead away from Brookes moments later, just before the session was brought to a halt following a crash at Goddards by Victor Cox.

Following the re-start it was Kiyonari who began to put in the quick laps and he ended the session fastest with a lap-time of 1:29.691.

Riders that failed to make it through to Q2 included Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran, Isle of Man TT regular Ian Hutchinson and Team WD-40’s Jack Kennedy.

Into Q2 and it was Ellison who came out on top after putting in an early lap of 1:29.464, ahead of Kiyonari and Easton in second and third places respectively.

Luke Mossey became the latest rider to crash out at Redgate Corner, with his Kawasaki taking quite a beating as it bounced into the barriers.

The session was disappointing for Tyco BMW with both Michael Laverty (15th) and Tommy Bridewell (17th) failing to make it into the top 10 shoot-out.

They were joined by Mossey (11th) and JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Westmoreland (12th) in the red zone, along with Christian Iddon (13th) and Howie Mainwaring Smart (14th) on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki.

The top-ten shootout saw Ellison go quickest early-on, with Brookes briefly going second before Kiyonari split the pair with his first competitive lap.

The Japanese rider wasn’t finished though and went quickest on his next lap, with his title rival from last season, Byrne, managing to join him on the front row as he knocked Brookes down to fourth.

The first race of the new BSB season gets underway tomorrow at 13:30, with race two due to begin at 16:30.

Donington Park Qualifying

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About author
Josh is a Sports Journalism graduate and has been a member of the TCF team since 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, Josh focused primarily on British Superbikes and Road Racing events such as the Isle of Man TT. At the beginning of the 2019 season he became the MotoGP Reporter.
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