Brands Hatch Grand Prix: Kiyonari: Last-to-first grid challenge 'too risky'

“I need to win races to get myself back in the top maybe too risky to start from the back but we'll see." - Ryuichi Kiyonari
Ryuichi Kiyonari thinks it could be 'too risky' to gamble on the last-to-first grid shake-up in race two at Brands Hatch, while Buildbase BMW team manager Steve Hicken isn't opposed to taking on the 'King of Brands' challenge.

The three-time British Superbike champion says he is desperate to make a return to the top step of the podium this weekend to keep his Showdown target on track. As a result, the Japanese rider feels it might be a step too far to sacrifice a front row start for double points, a special trophy and a potential £50,000 in bonus prize money.

Kiyonari is looking forward to returning to Brands Hatch despite suffering a disastrous race weekend last time BSB competed on the grand prix track. The Buildbase BMW rider was locked in a battle with Shane Byrne for the BSB title at the 2014 season finale but crashed out and broke his collarbone, effectively handing the title to Byrne.

"I like Brands, I have many good memories of racing there but also some bad ones too like the last round in 2014,” Kiyonari said. "At Knockhill we made big improvements and I felt much faster.

“I need to win races this weekend to get myself back in to the top six. All I want is to win so it is maybe too risky to start from the back but we'll see."

Kiyonari trails the top six Showdown spots by 34 points with the last position currently occupied by Tyco BMW's Tommy Bridewell.

Despite Kiyonari's hesitations, team manager Hicken says he isn't completely set against the idea and thinks his team could use it to its advantage with the promise of double points on offer.

“It's really important for Kiyo to get some good championship points and podium credits so we'll be pushing for the best weekend possible,” Hicken said. “If he qualifies on the front row for race two and has the pace, we would definitely look at starting from the back - double points would certainly help us get back up to the top six.”

Tagged as: Brands Hatch , Kiyonari , Hicken

Related Pictures

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Ryuichi Kiyonari, Buildbase BMW, BSB [Credit: Buildbase BMW PR]
Howie Mainwaring Smart, Anvil Hire Yamaha []
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit:]
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Smiths BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]

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July 16, 2015 1:56 PM
Last Edited 135 days ago

JuJitsoup:Josh Brookes you have a lot answer for. If you'd not taken Guintolli out by f*****g around he'd have fought Camier right to the end and we'd have none of this shoot-out garbage. It's all your shoulders, dude.
Tad unfair to blame Josh Brookes (or Leon Camier for that matter) in my view, other championships have been won by a country mile in the past and haven't resorted to the farcical rubbish BSB has introduced. Agree on the other points though this nonsense is seriously devaluing the best domestic racing series in the world.


July 17, 2015 6:39 AM
Last Edited 436 days ago

KneedownMuch: If it weren't for the showdown we wouldn't have seen some of the most amazing ends to British championships we've ever seen. As long as the organisers don't force riders to do things like the 'King of Brands' challenge then I think it's fine and a bit of fun, which is what racing should be about.
'amazing ends to British championships..? By that are you referring to the couple of instances where this contrived situation led to the rightful winner being robbed of their deserved title? If there really needs to be a showdown of any description then surely it should be a non-championship event taking place in the off season (ROC type of thing). As for this 'King' of Brands nonsense, apart from all the blindingly obvious issues with it not all of the competitors in BSB are male...

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