~From HM Plant Honda Press Release~
The HM Plant Honda team celebrated a double victory at today’s British Superbike Championship races at Cadwell Park, with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes taking one race a piece and their first victories at the Lincolnshire circuit.
Kiyonari, sporting a new ‘shaved’ hair cut for the weekend, started from pole position in the opening race of the day to take the hole shot off the line and edged out a lead over his chasing rivals, but with three laps remaining he ran wide onto the grass and Hall Bend. Kiyo’s lead was substantially cut and Michael Laverty had the opportunity to close him down and pass, but Kiyo fought back at Park to take the lead and reign for the first time at Cadwell Park. He suffered disappointment in race two however, when a technical problem on the warm up lap ruled him out of race two.
Brookes had a baptism of fire at the undulating and unique circuit in the first race of the day; a slow start off the front row dropped him back to ninth on the opening lap, but a determined ride saw him battle through to fourth. In race two he was determined to make amends and a lightening start from the second row put him third, but his dramatic style over the Mountain section of the track gave him the edge to pass Michael Rutter and then Michael Laverty in to Hall Bends to take the lead. He then set consistently fast laps to take the win by 4.398 seconds, to win on his race debut at the challenging track.
Kiyo said, “I was so happy to win at this track for HM Plant Honda as it was my goal as I have never won here before. It was a good race and I was consistent with my lap times but with three laps to go I went wide at the Mountain and was on the grass and almost high-sided, but then I came back as I didn’t want to finish second! In race two it was disappointing for me as I wanted to try for the double win but unfortunately I will have to wait a few more weeks to try again. Me and the HM Plant Honda Fireblade are getting better together with every round and it is coming together now for us as we have made so much progress with the settings this weekend. I want to thank the team for their hard work this weekend and for sure having the best bike in the Honda Fireblade. Now I look forward to going home to Japan to meet my new son and then be back ready and determined for Mallory Park.”
Josh said, “I had approached this weekend as the same as any other, but the time back home in Australia between rounds definitely made me more relaxed and almost reset my mind. I didn’t get off the line well in the opening race and was running ninth which is not where I want to be. It took me a while to get into a rhythm and several laps to get passed Chris Walker and by then I had lost too much ground so, I wanted to change that for race two. That second race is the kind of performance I wanted to show when I first came over here to race in BSB; to get into the lead and then edge out a gap and win in style. It is such a great feeling and the team has worked so hard this weekend to get us in this position. The Fireblade was spot-on and fast and even here where some people say it is hard to pass we found the speed with the improvements we made over the weekend. It puts us up there in the championship now for HM Plant Honda which is great.”
Team Manager, Havier Beltran, concluded, “All in all this has been a very positive round for the HM Plant Honda team with two race wins and, it has been a while since we have done the double so it’s a great feeling. We had a good weekend from practice, qualifying and today’s races and that has put us back where we should be. The team, the Fireblades and the riders as a package are totally on form and working incredibly hard and long may that continue as today;s results just got to show what can be achieved. In race one it was a shame that Josh didn’t get a better start as we felt he would have been able to challenge Kiyo for the win and likewise it was disappointing for Kiyo to have a technical problem before the second race. We showed the pace of the HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR this weekend with two wins and now we look forward to carrying that momentum to Mallory Park in a few weeks’ time.”