Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari delivered two incredible rides at Silverstone last weekend, taking a second-place finish in the initial race followed by an outstanding win – his 50th BSB victory – after a one-on-one 14-lap duel. James Westmoreland took two top-ten finishes with a seventh and a tenth respectively.
Race one was a three-man race, with Kiyo trading places and paint with the other riders. The lead changing an incredible six times on the final lap with Kiyonari finishing just 0.084s behind the race leader on his BMW S 1000 R. Race two saw Kiyo riding a defensive race from the front of the pack, preventing anyone from getting past and earning him the maximum 25 points to claw back the five points he lost just hours earlier.
The victory marks 50 British Superbike wins for Ryuichi Kiyonari, a significant milestone for the 32-year-old Japanese rider. Seven of those wins have been this year on the BMW S 1000 RR.
These two results mean that Kiyonari has maintained the 12-point gap with the current Championship leader that he began the weekend with, piling the pressure on and ensuring that he has a serious opportunity to try and claim his fourth MCE British Superbike title at the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks time.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I am very, very, very happy! At first I thought ‘ahh no, another Assen!’ after race one, where I lost out on the win at the end. And then race two started very similar and then on the last lap Shakey got past and I thought ‘nooo! I will do anything to stop him winning’ and I give it full gas, not worried about tyre life or anything! But it worked. I had a sleep between the races and I woke up just before the second one feeling better and ready to go and fight. I like to nap, but I make sure I set an alarm!
“Now we are going to Brands Hatch and I like it there. But there is more pressure now! If there was a 17-point gap or 20 points maybe, you say I cannot really hope to win championship, but now it is very possible. At the start of the year our target was top six, then we hope maybe we can win a race in 2014...and now we are very close to the title! Also today was my 50th win which makes me think maybe I am old! Haha.”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “I’m very happy with today’s results. Kiyo rode his heart out and took a win and a second. He’s now going into Brands Hatch with a very small gap on Shakey and, basically, nothing to lose. The pressure is all on Byrne and it is Kiyo’s favourite circuit.”
Lee Jackson qualified on the front row of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 grid but stalled as the race started, luckily being missed by the other riders. Jackson got his bike started and began a steady assault on the pack, clawing back an incredible number of places and finishing seventh. Jackson has guaranteed himself third place in the championship and now looks to Brands Hatch to try and steal a final win from the season on his BMW HP4.