Rock supported rider Ryuichi Kiyonari finished in second place in the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship after a fractured collarbone prevented him from contesting last weekend’s three races. Kiyo was hoping to be able to ride after physiotherapy and pain relief, but it was too much to ask and he was just not fit enough in time.
Kiyonari fought a season-long battle treating fans to thrilling race action at circuits the length of the country. The disappointing final round comes at the end of Hawk Racing and BMW Motorrad UK’s most successful season ever in the series, with a total of seven wins and six further podium finishes in Kiyo’s maiden season on the BMW S 1000 RR.
In addition to Kiyonari’s second place in the championship, the team is also celebrating fellow Rock rider Lee Jackson taking third place in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship. Jackson, a regular podium finisher, raced consistently over the racing season securing third place two rounds ago.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I’m obviously disappointed not to get to battle with Shakey at Brands Hatch, but looking back at this incredible season I am very, very happy. Around one year ago I first spoke to Stuart Hicken and signed to ride the BMW S 1000 RR and we hoped, maybe, to win a race in 2014. We have done that seven times and we are second in the championship. I wanted to prove that I was still fast and now that is certain.
“Shakey was great fun to race against and we had some very good battles on track. Now I am looking forward to riding in 2015 and we start to think about that on Monday. There is a new BMW S 1000 RR which I am very excited to try and to start testing as soon as possible. I have come to realise this year just how much support I have had from the British public and the fans and it is amazing. I am very thankful for everyone who has been involved in my year- thank you all so much.”
Stuart Hicken, Team Owner, said: “It would be easy to focus on this weekend, but it comes at the end of an unbelievable year. If someone had offered us seven wins and second place in the championship at the start of the season, we’d have bitten their hand off. Kiyo has given 100% every race and between us, the team and support from BMW Motorrad, we’ve turned the S 1000 RR into an absolutely formidable race-winning package. The team and my three riders have given their all this year and I couldn’t be prouder.”