Ryuichi Kiyonari has announced d his return to the MCE British Superbike Championship after signing for the Smiths Racing team.
The three-time champion departed from Bennetts Suzuki following a disappointing weekend at Brands Hatch earlier in the year, but will now be reunited with BMW machinery.
The Japanese rider has had plenty of success in the series over the years, with 50 race wins to his name. He nearly added a fourth title to his name back in 2014 but was denied the chance to challenge Shane Byrne when he suffered a broken collarbone during the warm up session for the final round.
Speaking about his return, Kiyonari said: “I am happy to be back for Oulton Park with BMW and I am hungry to end the season with good results – I want to try and win again and fight for podiums, and so far this year hasn’t been easy.
“I had a good test with the team so I could work with them for the first time and already we made some good changes with the setting and I enjoyed riding the BMW again. It has a different engine and chassis feeling to the BMW I raced before, but already I have a good feeling which is important.
“It is good that my first race with the team is at Oulton Park as I have won many times there and had strong results, so I hope we can make a good start to the final rounds of the season there.
Kiyonari joins a team with multiple British Supersport titles to their name and one that has tasted podium success in the top class.
The 33-year-old will line-up alongside Jakub Smrz for the remainder of the 2016 season and team manager, Rebecca Smith is looking forward to working with the former champion.
She commented: “We are really excited by the opportunity to work with Kiyo for the remainder of 2016. It goes without saying that we haven’t had the greatest of seasons and despite investing heavily in the development of the bike we have been unable to achieve results.
“Kiyo has proven that he can compete on a BMW and as one of the most successful riders in the British Championship everyone in the team is relishing the opportunity to work with him. On top of all of that we’ve already got him reading The Farmers Weekly!”