HM Plant Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari took race one victory on his return to racing at Mondello Park after sitting out the last round of the British Superbike championship through injury.
Kiyonari was knocked unconscious and sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of racing at Oulton Park two weeks ago in an accident at Mallory Park. His lay-off from racing has done nothing to dampen his speed and confidence.
Kiyonari took the win by 7.783 seconds ahead of his team-mate Michael Rutter and third place went to Airwaves Ducati rider Gregorio Lavilla.
Pole sitter Johnny Rea on the Red Bull Honda had a very short race which unfortunately ended up with him and his machine in the gravel before the first corner. Michael Rutter bumped the front of Rea's bike as he lined himself up for the corner, there was nothing that Rea could do as he lost the front of his machine due to the collision.
Glen Richards on the Hawk Kawasaki made a good start from the front row of the grid and was chasing hard after Kiyonari when he lost the front on lap seven, he tried to restart his stalled machine but without success. Leon Haslam whilst in third place ran off the track avoiding Richards, he was able to rejoin the race in twelfth but two laps later he coasted into the pits with a mechanical fault.
Rizla Suzuki camp had mixed fortunes today with a difficult time in qualifying for both riders. Neither rider got a brilliant start with Haydon in tenth and Smart in fourteenth off the line and distracted by Rea crashing out, however in true Suzuki fashion both riders scythed their way through the pack with Haydon working his way up to fifth and Smart up to seveth.
The last lap is where is all happened as James Haydon slipped from fifth to tenth when he out braked himself trying to put a last gasp move on Harris.
Smart finished in fifth and Haydon came over the line in tenth shaking his head with pure frustration.
It was a good day for the Stobart team with all three riders finishing in the top ten. Michael Laverty finished in sixth with Mason and McWilliams in eighth and ninth respectively.
6. M Laverty