Knockhill BSB: Kiyonari returns to top step in qualifying
Former triple MCE British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari has announced his return to the front of the series after a number of years in the doldrums, continuing to master the Buildbase BMW as he took the top spot at Knockhill in a damp qualifying.
Consistently fast all weekend, the Japanese rider didn’t have it all his own way in the final Q3 session, having to fend off fast laps from Josh Brookes, Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton among others to take the pole by only 0.004 from the Australian.
Byrne was third, his worst dry qualifying of the season but still crucially on the front row at the tight and twisty Scottish track, while Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki teammate Stuart Easton heads the second row at his home circuit.
James Ellison was fifth, only just making it out on the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki after fuel pressure problems early in the session, with James Westmoreland sixth and Tommy Bridewell seventh.
However, Bridewell will start from the fourth row in tenth, after a three position penalty for ignoring black/orange flags this morning prior to an engine blow-up that delayed proceedings. Jakub Smrz, Chris Walker and Michael Rutter rounded out the top ten, but all move forwards one place with Bridewell’s demotion.