3 August 2008
Brands: Kiyonari doubles up.
Just hours after winning his maiden World Superbike victory, Ryuichi Kiyonari has completed the double at Brands Hatch after a mature display in defensive riding.
Resisting a sustained attack by Noriyuki Haga for the majority of the race, Kiyonari held his countryman at bay all the way until the chequered flag to complete a superb double win around the circuit that witnessed a British Superbike title on his previous visit.
Like the first race though, Kiyonari made is somewhat difficult for himself when he laboured off the line. Although his slip to fourth place was less damaging than it was in the first race, it still left him behind Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga
There was disappointment for Yukio Kagayama, who had finished fourth in the first race, though after he came off at Druids. It was promptly followed up a lap later by Max Biaggi running straight on at Graham Hill Bend, thus eliminating two of the race one stars from the reckoning within the first two laps.
At the front, Haga was on the move, passing Yamaha team-mate Corser at Surtees for second and setting about closing the gap on Bayliss in the lead. Indeed, while Bayliss had looked comfortable out front for the first part of the race, he was unable to put up much of a fight against Haga when he swept past at Paddock Hill Bend at the start of lap seven.
From here, Bayliss looked to be a sitting duck, quickly losing second to Kiyonari – who had just passed Corser himself – and then having to fend off the attentions of his countryman, as well as an inspired Tom Sykes.
Pulling away as third place was disputed, Kiyonari was now beginning to put pressure on Haga and duly completed a clean move on lap nine at Paddock Hill Bend. Almost as quickly, Haga was back ahead when Kiyonari wobbled under brakes into Stirling, allowing Haga back through.
Kiyonari struck back though two laps later, simply drafting past the Yamaha down Hawthorn Hill and back into the lead. It would prove to be the critical manoeuvre.
Indeed, while Haga looked as though he was primed and ready for another attack on the white and green machine, he merely stayed close without attempting to make too much a concerted to get back past.
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