Ryuichi Kiyonari has confessed the reason behind his patchy form in this year's World Superbike Championship has been entirely down to himself and not his Ten Kate Honda bike.
The former British Superbike champion was tipped to mount a title challenge in 2009 after winning three races in his rookie season, albeit on familiar ground, and showing occasional flashes of speed elsewhere.
However, the season hasn't gone to plan for the Japanese rider, Kiyonari struggling to find consistency in his performances. It means that while he has scored two podiums this season – making him only one of eight riders to do so -, he currently languishes down in 11th position overall in the standings.
By his own admission, Kiyonari admits his performances have not been good enough, particularly compared with last season when he finished ninth overall.
“My second season has been very difficult,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “Every round, every race has been very hard. Sometimes it is fine, but sometimes it is not. My feeling is not as good as last year, because while there were many new circuits last year, each round was better. This year is not consistent and not good enough.
Stating that he has a sensitive riding style that is easily skewed by changes in the conditions, Kiyonari has vowed to improve over the remainder of the season.
“The big problem is the rider! The machine's potential is good but I need to improve. My riding style is sensitive, so if the conditions change between Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is very difficult for me to change my style. This is a problem.”