British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari was the guest of honour at a special reception dinner in Newcastle last night.
The evening was hosted by HM Plant at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton, celebrating Kiyo’s title success and recognising the success notched up by HM Plant Honda riders in 2006.
Isle of Man race winner and lap record holder John McGuinness, North West 2000 double race winner Steve Plater, new HM Plant Honda signing Jonathan Rea and WSB runner-up James Toseland (who has HM Plant personal sponsorship) joined Kiyo on stage for a question and answer session with TV commentator Barry Nutley – but the carefully worded script went out of the window and the 250 guests erupted into howls of laughter as Kiyo responded with his usual impish grin and one-word responses, while clutching a glass of his favourite red wine.
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After the rider interviews James Toseland’s band Crash rocked the Hilton with a set rammed full of great rock classics to help the guests work off their hefty six-course meal.