Ryuichi Kiyonari could afford a smile after he won the first of the weekend's three MCE British Superbike races at Oulton Park.

The Buildbase BMW rider had to start from row four after a spill in Q2 prevented him from setting a fast lap in Q3 as his team battled to repair his machine.

However, the popular Japanese star produced a battling performance to claim a hard-earned victory from Milwaukee Yamaha's Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to make up for the disappointment of his qualifying setback.

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"I am very happy now, which is good because I wasn't after Q2. I had a few problems before that and every corner I was sliding a lot and although it wasn't a very big crash, the bike was damaged and they had to quickly fix," said Kiyonari.

"It wasn't any easy race, I had to sweat a lot and push every corner of every lap as I know both Shakey and Josh are really strong. Every lap I know I couldn't stop pushing and that has made me very tired now and ready for a sleep," he added.

"I could hear Josh every corner, from side to side, and I thought 'oh no'. I worried until I saw the chequered flag but that was a lot of pressure."

Kiyonari remains in third place in the Showdown places behind Byrne and Brookes.