Kiyonari shows his strength at Donington Park by dominating practice and securing front-row start
Ryuichi Kiyonari delivered a show of strength at Donington Park, dominating practice sessions and setting the fastest times in the first two qualifying sessions on his Buildbase BMW Motorrad S 1000 RR. He went on to set the second fastest time overall, just 0.039 seconds behind John Hopkins who earned his first Pole Position of the year.
Kiyonari is fighting for vital Podium Credits to close the gap on current championship leader Shakey Byrne. With both riders guaranteed a place in the Showdown, any additional podiums earned will boost the points awarded for the last three rounds of the 2014 season.
Both Kiyo and Byrne have three BSB Championships to their name and the ‘War for Four’ is heating up as both seek the 2014 title. Donington Park is the final round before the Showdown and the Title Fighters riders will all be seeking an extra boost to their title hopes.
As the final practice session got underway Kiyonari and Byrne swapped positions at the top of the times before the Buildbase BMW Motorrad rider again upped the pace, although Hopkins’ time from yesterday remained the fastest lap of free practice. Kiyo also used the FP3 session to run a full 24-lap race simulation, showing good pace and still setting the third fastest time of the session. He then topped both Q1 and Q2, narrowly missing out to Hopkins by 1/25th of a second.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I am very happy with second place but I am also a bit disappointed. We need to see what our race pace is like tomorrow because the races will be hard. In Q2 I did a perfect lap but in Q3 I tried for more but I couldn’t go faster. The front row is important and tomorrow I want to keep strong and try to win races again. I am happy with the Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR so we will push tomorrow for the best results we can.”
James Westmoreland qualified ninth, showings signs of an impressive recovery from his wrist injury that kept him off his bike for three rounds earlier this season. Last year at Donington Park Westmoreland took both Pole Positions, BMW Motorrad’s first ever and a first for the Yorkshire rider as well.
Lee Jackson, campaigning the BMW HP4 in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series, qualified fourth for tomorrow’s race. Jackson also took a podium finish in the Superstock 1000 support race held at MotoGP last weekend.
Tomorrow’s racing begins at 11:30 with the main events broadcast live on British Eurosport 2 from 12:30.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Datatag Extreme Qualifying:
1. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 1m:29.555s
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +0.039s
3. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.122s
4. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +0.255s
5. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.255s
6. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.327s
7. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +0.424s
8. Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.472s
9. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) +0.578s
10. Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.755s
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Donington Park on 5/6/7 September – the Showdown decider. For more information click here
photo by doublered