Ryuichi Kiyonari survived a late scare to secure his first MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship victory at Cadwell Park in the opening race of the weekend.
The HM Plant Honda rider made the best start when the lights went out to lead the field into Coppice for the first time, with pole man Tommy Hill settling in behind with Michael Rutter and Stuart Easton third and fourth. Meanwhile Josh Brookes bogged down at the start and dropped down to ninth place.
Easton's race wouldn't last for long however when he lost the rear end of his bike and went down at Charlies on the second lap which left the top three to try and break away but just two laps later there was drama at Hall, when points leader Hill fell – bringing out the Safety Car.
The race restarted on lap eight and Rutter in second was under pressure from Michael Laverty who slipped through into second place while Kiyonari pulled away at the front. Behind the top three Tommy Bridewell was once again punching above his weight on the Quay Garage Honda in fourth with Chris Walker getting up to fifth when John Laverty ran wide.
Those positions were reversed on the very next lap as John battled back into fifth place with Walker then coming under pressure from a recovering Brookoes. The Australian managed to get ahead into sixth and then took fifth from Laverty on the following lap after the pair had swapped positions at Coppice.
Out front, Kiyonari looked comfortable until a mistake exiting the Mountain saw him put a wheel on the grass and allowed Michael Laverty to close onto the rear of the Honda, with Laverty sweeping through into the lead on lap 16. Kiyonardi wasn't to be beaten however and soon made a move to retake the lead and edged away for his first Cadwell Park win.
Michael Laverty had to settle for second ahead of Rutter and Bridewell, with Brookes and John Laverty rounding out the top six.
Walker was seventh on the lone MSS Colchester Kawasaki after team-mate Gary Mason was ruled out by his qualifying crash, with Martin Jessopp, Alastair Seeley and Dan Linfoot completing the top ten.