BSB runner-up Ryuichi Kiyonari failed to convince that he is ready for a full time MotoGP return, after finishing twelfth for Camel Honda in Sunday's season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.

Valencia marked Kiyonari's first MotoGP appearance after two-years in British Superbikes, meaning that - unlike the previous occupants of the former Troy Bayliss RC211V, Shane Byrne and Chris Vermeulen - the Japanese was at least familiar with the machine, while (in contrast to Vermeulen) he was also still riding with Michelin tyres and (unlike Byrne) knew the circuit.

Byrne finished 14th and 13th on his two appearances, at Sepang and Qatar, while WSBK runner-up Vermeulen would raise the bar further with two 11th places in Australia and Turkey. Byrne's best qualifying performance was 17th, while Vermeulen's grid position peaked at 11th.

With that in mind, Kiyonari's 16th on the grid at Valencia and then 12th in the race - 9secs behind the next nearest Honda of Makoto Tamada - was below many expectations, not least Kiyonari's, who won no less than 12 BSB races this season.

"I want to say thanks to Honda and the Camel Honda team because they have given me the opportunity to compete in this race," began 'Kiyo'. "I am not satisfied with twelfth place, we could have done a lot better. Anyway this experience will serve me well for the future."

Kiyonari has formed part of Honda's future plans ever since being drafted in to replace the late Daijiro Kato as the Japanese Supersport champion early in the 2003 season - and it was HRC who apparently insisted on giving him the Valencia ride, Byrne having previously been told that he would have it before a late change of plans.

But while, on the face of it, the Valencia performance wasn't going to have MotoGP teams fighting for Kiyonari's signature - ever supportive Camel Honda team principal Sito Pons felt he did a good job.

"Ryuichi started from a long way back but also had a good race to finish in the points, ahead of experienced riders such as John Hopkins and Alex Hofmann. I think this has been a positive day for him," declared the former world champion.

Kiyonari is expected to remain in BSB next season for a third title attempt with the HRC backed HM Plant Honda team, while Pons is yet to reveal his 2006 rider line-up.

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