Three-time British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari will assume a new challenge for the 2012 season after being announced as part of Honda's line-up in the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship.
The Japanese rider, who won a third BSB title on his return to the series in 2010, struggled to replicate that form on a consistent basis in 2011 and was duly dropped by the HM Plant Honda team.
He will now become the star attraction for the burgeoning Asia Road Racing Championship with Honda's Malaysian-based Boon Siew Racing team alongside local riders Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, Mohd Emir Firdaus Hasan and Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi.
Kiyonari will ride a Honda CBR600RR on a calendar comprising Sepang (Malaysia), Sentul (Indonesia), Madras (India), Autopolis (Japan), Zhuhai (China) and Losail (Qatar), with the season kicking off on 27th April.
Kiyonari is the most successful BSB rider of all-time with 43 race wins, while he has also tasted success at World Superbike level.