Battle-lines drawn as Kiyonari returns to BSB

The battle-lines are drawn as Ryuichi Kiyonari returns to British Superbikes to go up against Shane Byrne for a fourth title, while 2012 standout Alex Lowes joins him at Samsung Honda.
Ryuichi Kiyonari will return to the MCE British Superbike Championship in pursuit of a record-breaking fourth series title after he was announced alongside Alex Lowes in Samsung Honda's all-new 2013 rider line-up.

Kiyonari is the most successful rider to compete in the British Superbike Championship having won the 2006, 2007 and 2010 BSB titles with Honda during a tenure that also yielded a series leading 43 wins.

Returning to the British racing scene after a season spent competing in Asia, Kiyonari's quest for a fourth BSB title puts him head-to-head with reigning champion Shane Byrne, who is not only also looking to make it four career titles, but is just two wins shy of the Japanese rider's victory tally too.

Hoping to show stronger form than he did during a faltering 2011 title defence campaign, when he managed just two wins and sixth overall, Kiyonari is delighted to be back in the BSB paddock once more, adding that he is particularly motivated by the impending competition with 'Shakey'.

“I am very, very happy to be back because I have missed BSB so much. I want to be better than before. I miss the championship: the races, the fans, the team – all of it and that is why I have returned. I know that next season is very important for me and I need to get results and wins because I don't want it to be like last time (2011).

“I want to be challenging again like when I won the title before. I have to give more than one hundred percent and I want a fourth title to show that I can do it again. I want to show what I can still do; I want to win more titles. My aim is for more wins and be champion again.

“I don't know if I will be a target, I think the riders will want to beat Shakey. I don't care about looking at other riders, because I just want to win and that is what I will focus on.”

Lowes, meanwhile, steps up to the factory-assisted Samsung Honda team after a breakthrough campaign in 2012 saw him make the 'Title Showdown', manage four consecutive pole positions and secure a marvellous double victory at Silverstone on the way to fourth overall.

An in-demand figure during the off-season, Lowes is pleased to be staying on Honda machinery (following WFR Honda's withdrawal) and is confident he can mount a season-long challenge in 2013.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryuichi Kiyonari signs for Samsung Honda (Pic: Honda).
Alex Lowes signs for Samsung Honda (Pic: Honda).
Samsung Honda’s 2013 line-up: Kiyonari, Lowes and O’Halloran (Pic: Honda).
Shane Byrne, Glenn Irwin, Be Wiser Ducati [Credit: Carter Sport PR]
Shane Byrne tests Be Wiser PBM Ducati [credit: BSB Media]
Shane Byrne - PBM Be Wiser Ducati [credit: BSB Media]
Jenny Tinmouth (GBR), Honda Racing, BSB []
Linfoot, Tinmouth, O`Halloran, Honda, [Credit:]
Honda Racing, bikes, bsb [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing, BSB [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot (GBR), Honda Racing, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot (GBR), Honda Racing, BSB [Credit:]
Jenny Tinmouth (GBR), Honda Racing, BSB []
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Bennetts Suzuki, BSB [Credit: Halsall Racing]
Michael Laverty, Ellison, Byrne, [Credit:]
Shane Byrne, PBM Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Shane Byrne, PBM Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]

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