Ryuichi Kiyonari...double winner at Brands Hatch
FORMER DOUBLE British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari proved he can still keep British crowds entertained by winning both rounds of this weekend's World Superbike series at Brands Hatch.
The 26-year-old Hanspree Ten Kate star put in spirited performances in both races, stealing victory from polesitter and championship leader Troy Bayliss in race one, and outclassing fellow countryman Noriyuki Haga to clinch the double in race two.
British hopes of a home victory were dashed after Rizla Suzuki's Tom Sykes failed to finish in race one and mustered a respectable 7th in race two. Superbike veteran Chris Walker finished the day with two 15th places.
The results mean Ducati's Troy Bayliss now holds an 82-point lead in the championship.
Here's what the riders said:
Ryuichi Kiyonari - Hanspree Ten Kate Honda - 1st, 1st
"I’m so happy, I cannot really believe it. We have been near the top of the leader board in all the sessions this weekend so we knew that we had a good race set up. The team worked hard to give me a great bike for both races and finally we have a win – no, two wins! – to celebrate. It wasn’t easy – I found it difficult to pass and I made a couple of mistakes. In race one, I was very nervous for the last few laps but in race two I was able to keep a good pace right to the end."
Carlos Checa - Hanspree Ten Kate Honda - 6th, 8th
"I cannot say that I am happy with the results but I have to be satisfied after the problems we have had this weekend. Of course, Brands Hatch was a new circuit for me to learn and we found it difficult to find a good setting for the bike. I had a problem with the left-hander going onto the back of the circuit and this is a corner you must get right to carry speed for the rest of the lap."
Troy Bayliss - Xerox Ducati - 2nd, 11th
"I'm quite disappointed to tell the truth as I hoped to do a lot better today. By the last few laps of the first race the rear tyre wear was pretty bad and that's why we changed the tyre before race two. Unfortunately that was the wrong choice and there wasn't much I could do after the first few laps. I am however happy with podium in race one as those 20 points have meant that I've increased my overall lead, even though it's by just a few points. That was a great race this morning and my congratulations go to Kiyo who really was fantastic here today."
Michel Fabrizio - Xerox Ducati - 12th, 6th
"In race one the tyres were a real problem. We chose a harder tyre but it wasn't right so we went for a softer option for race two which, although better, did not perform as we had hoped. In both races my right forearm, the one already operated on, was playing up again and although I went to the Clinica Mobile after race 1 for some treatment I still experienced pain throughout the second race. I'm pretty satisfied with the fact that I was able to make up so many positions in race two though, to finish in sixth place, taking valuable points in the process."
Tom Sykes - Rizla Suzuki - DNF, 7th
“I have had an excellent weekend at Brands Hatch mixing it with the World Superbike regulars. The fans really got behind me and every time I came over the line I got a big cheer. I want to say a huge thank you to the Rizla Suzuki team for all their hard work; I’m thrilled with what we have achieved. It was a superb opportunity and I have enjoyed every moment of it plus I have learned a lot from the other riders. I am now looking forward to Knockhill next weekend where I hope I can pick up from where I left off at Oulton Park.”
Chris Walker - Vent Axia Honda - 15th, 15th
"Every time I went out on the bike I learnt more and more and it's great to be back on a Superbike. The bike felt brilliant and I was happy with the race set-up in the end. My fitness level is good but I need to get into the gym to work on my arm strength as I had to lose weight to ride the Supersport. I was desperate to get into the points this weekend so overall I'm pretty happy with my performance. The boys have done me proud and I'm chuffed to be part of the team. They've all made me feel really welcome and I can't wait to get to Donington."
Gregorio Lavilla - Vent Axia Honda - 14th, 13th
"We made some good improvements to the bike in the second race and we put in some good lap times. We were consistent once again and within the points but I wasn't able to improve much on my qualifying position during the race so we have to keep working hard on set-up and move up to the next level which I hope we can achieve at Donington. Brands is a track which I have beaten Kiyo on before in the BSB so it was really great to see him win the double here and I want to congratulate him."
Race One Results
1: Ryuichi Kiyonari, JPN, (Honda) 36:18.607
2: Troy Bayliss, AUS, (Ducati) +0.137
3: Max Biaggi, ITA, (Ducati) +0.180
4: Yukio Kagayama, JAP, (Suzuki) +5.733
5: Fonsi Nieto, ESP, (Suzuki) +6.499
6: Carlos Checa, ITA, (Honda) +6.984
7: Max Neukirchner, GER, (Suzuki) +8.300
8: Troy Corser, AUS, (Yamaha) +10.732
9: Jakub Smrz, CZE, (Ducati) +16.547
10: Roberto Rolfo, ITA, (Honda) +16.569
Race Two Results
1: Ryuichi Kiyonari, JPN, (Honda) 36:14.904
2: Noriyuki Haga, JPN, (Yamaha) +1.848
3: Troy Corser, AUS, (Yamaha) ~+8.883
4: Max Neukirchner, GER, (Suzuki) +11.180
5: Fonsi Nieto, ESP, (Suzuki) +12.928
6: Michel Fabrizio, ITA, (Ducati) +13.696
7: TOM SYKES, GBR, (RIZLA SUZUKI) +13.872
8: Carlos Checa, ITA, (Honda) +14.009
9: Jakub Smrz, CZE, (Ducati) +19.065
10: Lorenzo Lanzi, ITA, (Ducati) +19.864
1: Troy Bayliss, AUS, (Ducati) 334
2: Max Neukirchner, GER, (Suzuki) 252
3: Troy Corser, AUS, (Yamaha) 242
4: Carlos Checa, ITA, (Honda) 233
5: Noriyuki Haga, JPN, (Yamaha) 230
6: Fonsi Nieto, ESP, (Suzuki) 183