Ryuichi Kiyonari gave a strong indication that he cannot be discounted for the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship title after returning to the top of the podium at Snetterton.
The Japanese rider has slipped down the order after a run of poor form since winning at Oulton Park, though has retained a spot inside the top six to ensure he remains in the hunt for a title shootout.
Even so, having managed just two podiums heading to round six, the reigning champion still had something to prove at Snetterton and did as much by challenging for the podium in race one. Though a mistake would leave him fifth at the chequered flag, Kiyonari had done enough to secure pole position for race two.
Beaten by Hopkins off the line, Kiyonari held second when the race was stopped on lap eight. However, a poor start saw him back to fourth place, a position he held with just over two laps remaining.
Fighting his way past Josh Brookes, Kiyonari got himself onto the tail of the lead fight and was in the right place when Shane Byrne and John Hopkins came together ahead of him. Rounding the final bends to complete an unexpected second win of the season, Kiyonari was delighted to be celebrating again, even if he did accept the somewhat fortuitous circumstances.
"In race one I was feeling more confident but knew we had to find something extra for race two," the HM Plant Honda rider said. "I am of course happy for the win in race two and I was lucky as I could have been third rather than first. I found it very difficult to pass Josh Brookes and then I tried to catch the leading group and I think with more laps maybe I could have.
“I am sorry for Shakey and John but we needed the win here for our championship especially after some bad results. Our hard work has finally paid off and my confidence is high so now I look forward to Oulton Park."