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Kiyonari king of Brands
29 March 2005
Ryuichi Kiyonari may have had his winning margin in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch in the British Superbike championship halved from his margin in race one, but there was no doubting the HM Plant Honda rider's dominance at the Kent circuit.
Declaring himself 'very happy,' on the podium Kiyonari was unchallenged for the lead save for some optimistic looks from those behind at the very start of the first lap.
Crossing the line five seconds ahead of team-mate Michael Rutter, Kiyonari now leads the championship after the first round by a healthy margin.
Rutter had his attentions taken by Gregorio Lavilla's Airwaves Ducati, which worked its way back towards the front after losing out at the very beginning of the race.
Lavilla overtook team-mate Leon Haslam during the course of the 30 lapper, and the race one pole-sitter eventually crossed the line behind the Spanish rider stand-in.
"I'm very happy about how this weekend has gone," explained Lavilla after the second race. "I rode the bike for the first time two days ago!"
Sean Emmett secured fifth, after initally challenging Rutter for second.
The Surrey based rider was more than happy with this result following two high-sides in two days which left him with 18 stitches and an extremely swollen left elbow.
"If you had said to me in the morning of race day that i'd get two fifths, I wouldn't have believed you," he explained. "I thought about not riding at all, but to come away fifth in the championship I'm very happy indeed."
Karl Harris was next up across the line, taking sixth place from Glen Richards on the Hawk Kawasaki. Richards, who finished in P3 in race one, was looking stronger at the beginning of the race but was unable to maintain position.
John Reynolds looked to be coming in for eighth after taking team-mate Scott Smart with a handful of laps to go, but Smart had enough time to take the place back on the final lap.
"I rode like a woman for the first two laps," explained Smart on his eighth place. "You just can't do that at this level, and I paid the price today."
Gary Mason rounded off the top ten still struggling, like his Stobart Honda team-mates, with engine management glitches.
"Coming out of corners it just wants to spit you off as the power surges in," commented Mason at the end of the race day.
So with Kiyonari dominating proceedings at Brands, what will the next round at Thruxton bring? Last word to the Japanese rider's team-mate, Michael Rutter: "Kiyo's on form so we've got to do something about him."
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