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Ashby-based team claim first-ever British Superbike race victory with Ryuichi Kiyonari’s Knockhill success

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 01, 2014

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RYUICHI Kiyonari and Buildbase BMW Motorrad made history at Knockhill with the Ashby-based team’s first-ever British Superbike race win.

And they followed that up with a stunning second-place finish and a new lap record on the BMW S 1000 RR.

The win comes just weeks after the team’s triple victories at the Isle of Man TT, and launches Kiyonari (pictured below) up into the BSB Showdown riders.

Team owner Stuart Hicken said: “Now that was some proper racing!

“It couldn’t really have been any better for Kiyo.

“We dream of having weekends like this as a team and now it’s happened.

“To anyone who thinks Kiyo’s lost his mojo, well, I think he’s just proven that you’re dead wrong.

“This year, we’ve taken BMW Motorrad’s first ever BSB win, as well as their first Senior TT win for 75 years.”

The three-time champion proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with after an amazing weekend saw him leave with a Pole Position, BMW Motorrad’s first ever BSB race win and first podium finish.

The first race was Kiyonari’s from beginning to end, with the Japanese rider leading from early on and taking an effortless-looking victory, his first since 2011, with a 4.861 second lead over Shakey Byrne.

He started from second on the grid for the second race and got off to a great start, instantly breaking away from the pack with pole position starter Byrne.

For the first two thirds of the race, Kiyo was content to close in and hang just a few feet from Byrne’s back wheel, before launching an audacious pass on the brakes to claim first.

He then missed a gear change in the hairpin, allowing Shakey to pass him, but did not give up, going on to set a new lap record on the 29th of 30 laps and pushing Byrne all the way to the chequered flag.

Kiyonari said: “It was a very good race and I am so happy because this is important, it is a win again for me and also the first for BMW.

“I had a crash in the warm up and that made me very nervous before the race because it lost me confidence and I didn’t want to make another mistake.

“Then at the start of the race it all came back to me and I knew I could push hard. I didn’t want Shakey to catch me and I tried very hard to keep the gap.

“I hope for the same again soon, because we want more wins now we have one!

“A little mistake, missing a gear, in the second race cost me another win – but another podium was great.

“I’m looking forward to Brand’s Hatch, it’s my favourite track. I think we can do the same, a win or a podium, there as well.”

In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race, Lee Jackson had an outstanding return to form, taking his first podium of the year with a well-deserved second place finish.

James Westmoreland was unlucky, crashing out in the second race after colliding with Barry Burrell’s Kawasaki on the opening lap.

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