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Bennetts British Superbike: Kiyonari takes brilliant winning double

Bennetts British Superbike: Kiyonari takes brilliant winning double

Bennetts British Superbike: Kiyonari takes brilliant winning double

Ryuichi Kiyonari took charge of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with a brilliant winning first round double at Brands Hatch but the John Reynolds began the defence of his crown with a pair of ninth placings despite riding with a broken right leg.

Riding the HM Plant Honda Fireblade, the 22 year old Japanese rider was hardly troubled in a dominant performance.

In the opening 30 lapper, he made the perfect start and romped clear, taking the victory by ten seconds from Spaniard Gregorio Lavilla, who was deputising for the injured James Haydon on the Airwaves Ducati, with Glen Richards third on the Hawk Kawasaki.

"Very happy," smiled Kiyonari, "I was not confident before the race, this circuit is very difficult for me."

It hardly showed – he had set the pace for much of qualifying, only being out-gunned by a superfast lap late on which gave Leon Haslam pole, though that counted for little as the 21 year old Derbyshire rider high-sided off and then back onto his bike, which then stopped, on he opening lap.

Michael Rutter and Sean Emmett trailed in fourth and fifth, as for the first time in the history of the championship a British rider failed to take the podium – stung by that Emmett, riding with 15 stitches in an arm injury sustained in a high-side in qualifying twice nosed his Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha ahead in the early stages of the second race.

He could not make it stick as Kiyonari re-asserted himself, to take the race by five seconds from his team-mate Rutter, with Lavilla again impressing third, from Haslam, Emmett and Karl Harris, the three times British Supersport Champion, who was twice sixth on his graduation into the elite series.

Jeremy McWilliams, the 40 year old Ulsterman, who is back in domestic action of a dozen years and 186 grand prix races, took seventh place in the opening race aboard the Stobart Honda, and was looking good for a repeat, only to tumble out in the closing stages.

Defending champion John Reynolds, racing just 38 days on from breaking his right leg in five places, took a pair of ninth placings aboard his Rizla Suzuki. "It was hard work – I got to a level where I was pushing, but sliding around, doing the best that I could."

Danny Beaumont, took the first race victory in the British Superbike Cup: "Brilliant – that was my first Superbike race – the JJL team have worked hard for me and that was the perfect way to repay them." James Buckingham came in second, but the Quay Racing rider was the winner next time out, as Beaumont tumbled out of the action.

MotoGP, 2005

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