Ryuichi Kiyonari is confident he can repeat his stunning double Brands Hatch victory when the World Superbike Championship resumes for the second British round of the season at Donington Park.
Kiyonari revived his fortunes at Brands Hatch as he took advantage of prior track knowledge to secure two race wins aboard the Ten Kate Honda, a performance that has also lifted him to eighth in the overall standings.
The two-time British Champion now has the chance to repeat that feat at Donington Park, a circuit he initially thought would deliver better results than Brands Hatch would.
“Brands Hatch was fantastic for me, especially after winning the Suzuka 8-hour race the week before, but I felt very tired after,” he mused. “I went home to Japan for a rest and felt very relaxed. I like Donington, although it is quite a difficult circuit, with a very fast part followed by the very tight area around the hairpin.
“Before the season, I thought that Donington would be my strongest circuit but, after winning at Brands Hatch, I will be trying extra hard for another victory here.”
Meanwhile, Ten Kate's leading rider, Carlos Checa, has higher hopes for Donington Park than he had for Brands Hatch, not least because he recognises the sweeping Leicestershire circuit from his time in MotoGP.
“I like Donington a lot – it's a circuit that I have a good feeling for, even though I have never been on the podium there,” he said. "The weather is always a little unpredictable, but I'm comfortable on the Honda CBR1000RR in the wet, so I'm not too worried.
“We have some work to do and the team and I will try to find a good setting as early as possible, rather than learning the track, which I had to do at Brands Hatch. But I've had a good rest since then, so I'm feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to go back to work.”