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Kiyo returns to winning ways in race one

Monday, May 02 2011

Ryuichi Kiyonari and HM Plant Honda overcame the issues they were having earlier in the weekend to score the opening victory of the day at Oulton Park as the defending champion worked his way up through the order to secure his first win of the season.

Kiyonari said: "I am very happy, especially as it had been very difficult here to find a good setting for the race. Everyone in the team has worked very hard, me too as I wanted to push harder. They worked late into the night after qualifying to solve the problems we had so it was good work and I want the same in race two."

Laverty took the lead into Old Hall corner on the opening lap from Josh Brookes and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne with John Hopkins in fourth. Hopkins running in a new livery for the race passed Byrne on the inside at Shell and then moved up to third with a move at Lodge, proving that he was going to be in contention from the start. Byrne and Hopkins then went head to head on the second lap, but the American stayed ahead.

On the third lap Hopkins then was putting the pressure on Brookes, moving down the inside at Lakeside to run in second behind the leading Swan Yamaha of Laverty. The leading pack were inseparable as Laverty, Hopkins, Brookes, Byrne and Easton vied for the podium positions.

Easton was also on a charge, passing Byrne on the run into Old Hall on the fifth lap, which he repeated a lap later on Brookes to move to third behind Hopkins. Kiyonari was the fastest rider on circuit, securing the Speedy Fastest Lap Award, and carving his way through to the front. He moved up to sixth after moving ahead of Linfoot and then team-mate Byrne.

At the front Easton was looking to move up the order and an attempted move into Hizzy's Chicane cost him a place as he clipped the back of Laverty and then ran wide, dropping to fourth as Kiyonari took the advantage.

Laverty was still at the head of the field from Hopkins and Kiyonari, but on the tenth lap the Japanese ace made a move on the inside of the Samsung Crescent Racing rider into Brittens to elevate himself to second. Kiyonari had the lead in his sights and a lap later stole the lead from Laverty with an assertive move down the inside at Lodge.

Laverty then was running second, but Hopkins wasn't settling for third and a move on the run down to Shell Oils corner put him ahead as the Swan Yamaha rider dropped down the order. Easton was then able to move to third on the same lap and Laverty was forced to settle for an eventual fifth as Byrne made a move at Hizzy's chicane with two laps remaining.

Kiyonari edged an advantage at the front from Hopkins and the chasing Easton with Byrne in fourth, whilst Brookes dropped to sixth. Jon Kirkham moved up the order to seventh whilst an earlier off track excursion for Loris Baz left him in eighth. Gary Mason and Linfoot rounded out the top ten. Alex Lowes won the Mirror.co.uk BSB Evo race after finishing in an impressive twelfth place ahead of Scott Smart and Barry Burrell after Glen Richards and Simon Andrews both crashed out during the race.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race one result:

1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +4.150s
3. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +4.336s
4. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +4.646s
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.684s
6. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +5.105s
7. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +13.582s
8. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +16.637s
9. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +19.108s
10. Dan Linfoot (Sorrymate.com Honda) +19.452s

The second race of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship gets underway at 16:05