Cool Kiyonari takes comfortable Oulton win

The Japanese rider notches up his 42nd BSB victory, ahead of John Hopkins, Stuart Easton and Shane Byrne.
Ryuichi Kiyonari has won his first British Superbike race of the season at Oulton Park after methodically working his way through the pack from eighth on the grid.

The Japanese, who famously won all three races at the Lancashire circuit in 2010 to wrap up the title, hadn't been expected to launch a victory challenge from the second row having struggled to make an impression in practice and qualifying.

However, while a modest start left him in eighth position during the early laps, he would systematically claw his way up the order, relieving long-time leader Michael Laverty of the top spot with seven laps remaining.

Proceeding to pull a gap over the competition, the HM Plant Honda rider would finish the race a clear four seconds up on the battle for second position.

Prior to Kiyonari's arrival, Laverty had held the lead from the opening bend, the Swan Yamaha rider making the most of his inherited pole position following the withdrawal of the injured Tommy Hill.

However, he was never able to shake off the attentions of those directly behind him, with Josh Brookes and John Hopkins both applying the pressure, while Stuart Easton, Shane Byrne and eventually Kiyonari would also make their presence felt.

It would take Easton's failed attempt to pass Hopkins for second at the Hizzy's chicane, one that saw him bouncing across the kerbs and the grass and into the path of the following Shane Byrne and Brookes, to break up the group and release Kiyonari up to third, the Japanese rider duly marching the front on lap eleven.

Indeed, having led for more than half the race, Laverty's pace dropped markedly as Hopkins, Easton and Byrne all found their way past within three laps.

Despite being harassed over the final laps by Easton and Byrne, Hopkins held on for a maiden BSB podium in only his third race, while Easton's run to third marks a first rostrum result for the new ZX-10R.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda [pic credit: Ian Hopgood[
Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda [pic credit: Ian Hopgood[
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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