Ryuichi Kiyonari put the HM Plant Honda on pole for tomorrow’s opening BSB round of the season at Brands Hatch.
The former double BSB champion, back in the series after two years of WSB, showed all his old fire as he clocked a 45.56s lap – just 0.12s quicker than Tommy Hill.
Kiyo said: “It was qualifying and it was important to make a good time but we also continued to make changes to the bike in each session to improve the set-up for tomorrow’s race.”
Hill was ‘over the moon’ with second spot on the grid with the Worx Suzuki. “It’s vital to be front row here,” he said. “I can’t complain but it’s frustrating to miss our on pile by a tenth of a second.”
Alastair Seeley shocked the established BSB names by putting the Relentless by TAS Suzuki third on the grid with a 45.79s with Dan Linfoot living up to his Spanish testing form, by completing the front row on the Motorpoint Yamaha.
He turned off the anti-wheelie going into the final segment of qualifying because he felt the electronics were holding his bike back too much!
Josh Brookes sits fifth on the grid, frustrated after trying Kiyo’s front forks settings – settings, which transformed Kiyo’s bike on Saturday but left Brookes with a lack of feel.
Tommy Bridewell continued with his good form by finishing sixth on the Quay Honda – the best of the true privateers.
He had an electronics sensor go down which stopped his traction control working in the first three gears. Michael Laverty and Yukio Kagayama completed the second row.
Staurt Easton was ninth in Q3 on the Swan Honda. He said: “I was just happy to get into final qualifying.
"I’ve been a bit cautious all weekend because of my leg injury, but this keeps us in touch and I’m sure we’ll be competitive tomorrow.
Team-mate James Ellison had to sit out Q3. He was fourth in Q2 and ready to shoot for pole position but his bike stopped at the end of the session.
Thanks to the new one-bike rule, he had no option but to sit watching while the team unplugged the stricken engine from its chassis as Q3 took place.
Neil Hodgson had a nightmare qualifying. He didn’t make it through Q1 and wound up 22nd on the grid and wondering how he was going to get the feel he wanted from the bike in the short 15-minute Monday morning warm-up session ahead of the first race.
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN HM Plant Honda 45.565s
2. Tommy Hill GBR Worx Crescent Suzuki 45.691s
3. Alastair Seeley GBR Relentless TAS Suzuki 45.799s
4. Dan Linfoot GBR Motorpoint Yamaha 45.843s
5. Josh Brookes AUS HM Plant Honda 45.861s
6. Tommy Bridewell GBR Quay Garage Honda 46.087s
7. Michael Laverty GBR Relentless TAS Suzuki 46.107s
8. Yukio Kagayama JPN Worx Crescent Suzuki 46.258s
9. Stuart Easton GBR Swan Honda 46.371s
10. James Ellison GBR Swan Honda
11. Michael Rutter GBR Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati 46.304s
12. Martin Jessopp GBR Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati 46.321s
13. John Laverty GBR Buildbase Kawasaki 46.339s
14. Simon Andrews GBR MSS Colchester Kawasaki 46.389s
15. Chris Walker GBR CW Racing Suzuki 46.595s
16. Steve Brogan GBR Jentin Racing BMW 46.649s
17. Adam Jenkinson GBR Buildbase Kawasaki 46.754s
18. Luke Jones GBR PR Racing M/C & Moore Yamaha 46.906s
19. Craig Fitzpatrick GBR Close Print Finance Honda 47.425s
20. Christian Iddon GBR Sorrymate.com SMT Honda
21. Peter Hickman GBR Ultimate Yamaha 47.048s
22. Neil Hodgson GBR Motorpoint Yamaha 47.121s
23. Steve Mercer GBR SMR Racing Yamaha 47.212s
24. Tom Tunstall GBR Doodson Motorsport Honda 47.224s
25. David Johnson AUS Magic Bullet Two Wheel Suzuki 47.291s
26. Gary Johnson GBR AIM Suzuki 47.392s
27. David Anthony AUS MIST Suzuki 47.430s
28. Pauli Pekkanen FIN RR Motorsport Suzuki 47.576s
29. Hudson Kennaugh RSA MAR Kawasaki 47.677s
30. Chris Burns GBR Splitlath Aprilia 47.716s
31. Aaron Zanotti GBR Red Viper Spike Suzuki 47.820s
32. Michael Howarth GBR Magic Bullet Two Wheel Suzuki 48.598s
33. Steve Heneghan GBR Quattro Plant Honda 48.802s
34. Peter Ward GBR Astro-Chase SST Kawasaki 48.999s