Ryuichi Kiyonari once again took his HM Plant Honda across the finish line first to claim another dominant win race one of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton. The Japanese had a lead of 8.28secs and broke the lap record twice to set a new best of 1min 5.685secs.
Pole sitter Leon Haslam did his best on board the Airwaves Ducati to hold onto Kiyonari, but Kiyo made a break for it early on and the Pocket Rocket was unable to match his pace. The final place on the podium went to current British Superbike Champion John Reynolds, it is the first time this season that the Rizla Suzuki has been on the podium and this definitely marks the return of JR. To make it even more significant, today was Reynolds' 200th race start, and his team presented him with a cake just before the start. As he cut the cake JR commented “It's like getting married again! Here's to the next 200!”
The Stobart Honda mounted Michael Laverty had some very bad luck when his engine blew on lap eight whilst he was in a strong third place. Laverty qualified front row of the grid and had been hoping to repeat his podium form from Knockhill, unfortunately the engine failure robbed him of that opportunity.
Gregorio Lavilla, team-mate of Haslam, was another luckless rider when he failed to finish after running off the track and was unable to restart. Chris Burns, who has replaced John McGuinness at the AIM Yamaha team, retired early in the race - not the return to racing that he would have hoped for. Lee Jackson who is standing in for the injured Glen Richards also retired when he had a concern with his Hawk Kawaski.
Meanwhile, Kiyonari's team-mate and current championship leader, Michael Rutter, didn't have the best of races; he had been in third place until the Rizla riders decided otherwise and relegated him to fifth. Rutter had a 43-point advantage over his team-mate heading into the race, but that lead in now down to 29 points - there really is a lot at stake for Rutter.
Before the race started all the riders dismounted from their machines and lined up at the front of the grid for a minute's silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the bombings in London earlier this week.
BSB race one – Snetterton: