Kiyonari signals return with pole

More than two years after sealing his second BSB title at the same circuit, Kiyonari leads the way at the 2010 Brands Hatch opener
Former double British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari signalled his return to the domestic series in style by claiming pole position for the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch.

The Japanese rider, champion in 2006 and 2007, was in superb form throughout as he and Worx Crescent Suzuki's Tommy Hill battled it out for the top spot in all three sessions.

Although it was Hill who entered the top ten shootout with the quickest lap time of the weekend thus far, Kiyonari, a race winner around Brands Hatch at World Superbike level, would undercut him with an effort of 45.565secs, just over a tenth faster than the local rider.

While Kiyonari and Hill, who have paced several test sessions over the winter, were tipped for a front row start, Alastair Seeley and Dan Linfoot certainly turned the formbook around in third and fourth.

Kicking off their rookie BSB seasons in style, Relentless Suzuki's Seeley and Motorpoint Yamaha's Linfoot were just two and three tenths slower than Kiyonari to earn themselves pride of place at the head of the race one grid.

Kiyonari's team-mate Josh Brookes will start fifth after sneaking ahead of Honda counterpart Tommy Bridewell in the final minutes, the youngster nonetheless securing his first top ten BSB start on his debut for Quay Garage.

Michael Laverty and Yukio Kagayama join them on row two, while row three will be headed by Swan Honda pairing Stuart Easton and James Ellison, the former doing a fine job as he continues to ride around his knee injury, while the latter failed to set a time in the shootout after hitting technical issues.

Just missing the top ten cut, Ducati pair Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp will start 11th and 12th respectively, ahead of John Laverty, who emerged as the leading Kawasaki rider in 13th.

Meanwhile, Chris Walker was a solid 15th on his debut aboard the CW Suzuki, while Steve Brogan became the first rider to secure 'Evo' pole position on the Jentin BMW, three positions up on second place man Craig Fitzpatrick.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alastair Seeley - Relentless by TAS Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Worx Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda [pic credit: Ian Hopgpood]
Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Dunlop, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Taylor Mackenzie, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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Crash 27 - Unregistered

April 04, 2010 6:32 PM

I get the feeling Hodgson might just end up looking very silly this season. Linfoot the rookie has had his measure in every sesseion on the bike so far. Sad.......

Luke - Unregistered

April 04, 2010 6:07 PM

So a dismal performance from Hodgson. Anyone really surprised? He has been off the pace in the US for years now, hence he couldn't get a decent ride in AMA anymore. Still, milk a mug team in BSB for one more year before quietly disappearing into the sunset.

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