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Kiyo denied double Knockhill win by battling Byrne

Sunday, June 29 2014

Ryuichi Kiyonari proved that he is back and means business in the MCE British Superbike Championship at Knockhill, narrowly missing out on the double win when Shane 'Shakey' Byrne took advantage of a mistake from the triple title-winner to score the victory by 0.176s.

Byrne had made amends for a poor start in the first race to fire off the line into the lead at the start with Kiyonari giving chase ahead of Josh Brookes and Stuart Easton. The leading Milwaukee Yamaha rider then lost ground and Easton and then the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki of Chris Walker moved ahead, pushing Brookes back to fifth.

At the front Byrne was coming under increasing pressure from Kiyonari with the pair almost touching on several occasions before the Buildbase BMW made a decisive move down the inside at the Hairpin to hit the front of the pack. Byrne then switched roles and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was shadowing his Japanese rival; Kiyonari initially held the advantage but then a mistake on the exit of the Hairpin saw him save a dramatic high-side which gave Byrne the opportunity he needed. Like a red rag to a ball Byrne launched himself back to the front, but with a gap of 0.8s to close a determined Kiyonari gave chase again.

As the laps counted down Kiyonari was edging closer with every circulation and as it came to the final lap he was back on the rear Pirelli of his rival Byrne. Left and then right Kiyonari looked for a way ahead, but despite his best efforts he finished second as the pair crossed the line inseparable.

Kiyonari said: "I am disappointed that we didn't win again, but I made some mistakes and it was my fault. Shakey is very fast and when I passed him I knew he would try and pass me again. It was a difficult race but I am happy that I could show that I can still win and have podium. I need to thank my team and I want to go to Brands Hatch now, it is my favourite circuit, and win again. I will keep trying because we can win." 

Walker had been holding off the challenges from Brookes and despite a broken finger he lived up to his 'Old but Gold' slogan by claiming third, with Easton on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki completing the top five.

Dan Linfoot had another strong finish in sixth place on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki ahead of Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison who had fought his way through the field. Richard Cooper and Michael Rutter completed the top ten.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, race two result:

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
  2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.176s
  3. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +6.349s
  4. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +7.975s
  5. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +10.595s
  6. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +14.755s
  7. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +16.838s
  8. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +17.762s
  9. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +20.479s
  10. Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) +20.943s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:

  1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 190
  2. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 111
  3. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 108
  4. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 88
  5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 82
  6. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) 76

The next round of the MCE British Superbike Championship is at Brands Hatch for the Big Brands Bash. Weekend and camping tickets for the 17/18/19 July are available now from just £51. Kids under 13 go free. All three days take place on the famed Grand Prix circuit with a bustling programme of support races and two MCE BSB races on the Sunday. To book tickets now call 0843 453 9000 or click here.