Ryuichi Kiyonari has spoken of the difficulty of watching the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship slip away from him after a damaging free practice accident forced him out of the season finale.

The in-form Japanese rider came into the final round 12 points adrift off Shane Byrne and embroiled in a much publicised head-to-head to become the first rider to win four BSB titles.

However, Kiyonari's season would end on a sour note when he fell during the damp FP3 session, fracturing his collarbone. Forced to skip the first race - which saw Byrne fail to score after crashing -, Kiyonari attempted to make it out for races two and three, but could not muster the strength in his damaged shoulder.

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With Byrne going on to seal the title in the second race, Kiyonari admits the decision to not to compete was a difficult one and was full of regret for the accident that made it happen.

"I'm feeling not too bad but my shoulder is very painful still. Saturday was more difficult, overnight I was sleeping very good, like nearly 10 hours no problem. But every time I woke up, I would remember that I made a very bad mistake and thought of many things, so it was very hard.

"My shoulder is painful and it was very hard to decide what to do, it has been a hard time. It was not a nice decision, riding or not riding. In the morning warm up I tried to ride but the conditions were not so good, then the next one, no, and then Shakey won the championship."

Despite this, Kiyonari still looks back at the season with fondness in a year that has seen him revitalise his BSB career following the decision to end his long association with Honda in favour of a surprise move to BMW machinery.

Taking BMW to its first BSB win at Knockhill - a feat he would repeat on a further six occasions in 2014 -, Kiyonari's efforts would see both the manufacturer and Buildbase team emerge as title contenders for the first time.

"This season has been unbelievable and every race I have enjoyed so I'm happy with that. The finish was unbelievable, I still can't believe it as it was not good - but I enjoyed this season."


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There is always next year Kiyo.
And if he starts 2015 as he performed in the latter half of 2014 then he will be more than in contention.