• 2021 MSV Season Passes
  • Brands Hatch Driving Experiences
  • MSV Trackdays
  • YoungDrive at Brands Hatch
Kiyonari beats Byrne in frenetic opening MCE BSB contest

Sunday, July 20 2014

An epic opening race in the MCE British Superbike Championship on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afteroon brought back to life the 'War for Four' - the battle between Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari to become the first rider to win four BSB titles. Kiyonari and Byrne locked in a monumental battle for supremacy all the way to the chequered flag.

Byrne fired off pole position to hit the front as the pack streamed into Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap, ahead of the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasakis of James Ellison and Chris Walker.

Ellison instantly went on the attack, going for a move ad Druids, but went wide on the exit of the corner. Byrne cut the line back, with Walker then taking the advantage to move ahead of his team-mate at Surtees. 

Byrne led Walker and Ellison until the fifth lap, when the Nissan GT-R Safety Car was deployed after Barry Burrell crashed his Team WD-40 Kawasaki at Druids.  On the restart Byrne held the lead but the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasakis swapped positions, Ellison moving up to second - but all the time they were battling, Buildbase BMW's Kiyonari was within striking distance. The four were inseparable at the front.  

Kiyonari found a way past Walker at Paddock Hill Bend shortly before Ellison passed Byrne for a moment at the front as the pack crossed the line for the thirteenth time, but Byrne reclaimed the laed into Paddock Hill Bend. Then Kiyonari also passed Walker, taking second at Druids.

A battle raged between Byrne and Kiyonari, the two triple-champions swapping positions in a thrilling climax to the opening race of the day. Kiyonari was stronger on the run into Paddock Hill Bend and on three consecutive laps he made a move there, but on the Grand Prix circuit Byrne moved back ahead.

Kiyonari led the penultimate lap,on which Byrne made a move at Hawthorns, but Kiyonari charged back to the front for the lap that mattered, the last, and crossed the line just 0.103s ahead. Ellison was only another 0.687s further back in third.

Walker held on to fourth from Dan Linfoot and Josh Brookes on the leading Milwaukee Yamaha. They were chased home by Jakub Smrz, Richard Cooper and John Hopkins, who started his Tyco Suzuki from the back row after a problem on the grid.  

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race one result:

  1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW
  2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.103s
  3. James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.687s
  4. Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +3.290s
  5. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +4.378s
  6. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +5.160s
  7. Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +6.130s
  8. Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +8.956s
  9. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) +12.055
  10. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +12.259s