~From HM Plant Honda Press Release~
Great BSB Season Opener for HM Plant Honda
The HM Plant Honda team got its 2010 season underway at Brands Hatch today (Monday) with Steve Plater securing the opening win of the National Superstock 1000 Championship and Ryuichi Kiyonari taking a podium finish on his return to the British Superbike Championship, with team-mate Josh Brookes further securing a points finish.
Ryuichi Kiyonari finished second in the opening race after holding the lead for the majority of the race before he was edged out by Tommy Hill just eight laps from the end. Starting race two from fourth under the new BSB rules, Kiyo was forced to retire with an ignition problem, leaving him fifth in the overall standings.
Josh Brookes had a challenging day finishing fifth in race one, but, after setting the fastest lap in that race he was keen to take advantage of his pole position start for race two. Josh made a good start to get off the line in second on the opening lap, before being nudged back to third. He looked set to make a move to regain the position but he lost the front at Druids, crashing out of contention.
Steve Plater got his season off to a flying start by winning the opening National Superstock 1000 Championship race of the season for the HM Plant Honda team. Plater had been running second in the opening laps of the race and closing the gap on the Padgetts Honda of Glen Richards, until the Australian high-sided out of the lead. Plater then maintained his position, finishing an impressive 6.702 seconds ahead of the second placed rider.
Kiyo said, “I was a bit disappointed with my last laps of the race as I had a good start. I was having a few problems with the setting as the traction control was affecting the tyre life during the race. I knew I needed to be consistent with the lap times and that was my aim for race two. In the second race I really wanted to challenge for the win, but we had an ignition problem and I had to stop. Of course I am disappointed but now I am looking forward to Thruxton and try to get the win there.”
Josh said, Today hasnt been the best for me. In race one I wanted to push hard but I couldnt, so I needed to try and figure out why. I know that I can do fast laps, but I needed to do them all of the way through the race. I was happy to be starting from pole in the second race after setting the fastest lap time in race one, but I didnt get the start I wanted. Tommy (Hill) passed me and that was ok, as I thought I could have a go back, but I just had a few moments. At Druids I tried too hard, its as simple as that. I went in too hot and just lost the front. It has not all been bad though as we have learnt a lot about the HM Plant Honda Fireblade Superbike and I am already in a better position than I was this time last year.
Steve said, To get 25 points on the board straight away is the best possible start to our championship. I was closing in on Glen as he had a flying start, so I just chipped away and was closing him down when he had a big high-side. I then just got my head down and settled back into the race. I watched the gap closely but it was enough not to worry too much, even when we got caught up in the back-markers. I am happy with the pace we had today and now I am looking forward to Thruxton.
Team Manager, Havier Beltran concluded, I am very happy that Steve took the first win of the season in the National Superstock 1000 Championship. He has shown how well he has adapted to the Superstock bike and that is the start we wanted at Brands Hatch. In the first BSB race, it was a great result for Kiyo to start the season with a podium and hold the lead for the majority of the race, although he was disappointed not to win. Josh was obviously frustrated with fifth as he was aiming for more, but it doesnt always go according to plan. For race two we knew that both riders had a good race pace to challenge for podium but it was just unfortunate that Kiyo had an ignition problem and Josh crashed whilst pushing hard for a podium finish. The team is now looking forward to Thruxton.