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Kiyonari takes BSB title

Kiyonari takes BSB title

Kiyonari takes BSB title

Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari was crowned champion of the Bennetts British Superbike series this weekend, after an exciting final day triumph and second place combination at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

Kiyonari took the title from defending champion Gregorio Lavilla, who had arrived at the final round of the season in a strong position to retain his 2006 honour. However, the Spaniard saw his chances go up in smoke following a crash on the first lap of a restarted race.

Lavilla watched helplessly from his pit garage as his Airwaves Ducati team-mate Leon Haslam battled with Kiyonari at the English circuit, after the race had seen yet another restart due to the spectacular crash of Rizla Suzuki's Shane "Shakey" Byrne.

In the second race, Haslam went hell-for-leather right from the off, knowing full well that HM Plant Honda's Kiyonari only had to finish in the top three to secure the title. The Briton overtook his Japanese rival on lap six, extending an eight second lead over the leading pack. With five laps to go, Tommy Hill's crash caused yet another interruption to the day's proceedings. Kiyonari clinched second, and became the first Japanese rider to win the British Championship. Victory also gifted Honda their first title in the series for 20 years.


Bennetts British Superbike
Race 1 – 13 laps

1 R Kiyonari HM Plant Honda
2 L Haslam Airwaves Ducati
3 M Rutter Stobart Honda
4 T Hill Virgin Mobile Yamaha
5 G Richards Hydrex Honda
6 S Smart Vivaldi Suzuki

Race 2 – 14 laps

1 L Haslam Airwaves Ducati
2 R Kiyonari HM Plant Honda
3 J Rea Red Bull Honda
4 K Harris HM Plant Honda
5 M Laverty Stobart Honda
6 J Haydon Rizla Suzuki

Final Championship Classification

1 R Kiyonari 466
2 L Haslam 458
3 G Lavilla 377
4 J Rea 248
5 K Harris 244
6 S Byrne 224.

MotoGP, 2006

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