Silverstone BSB: Kiyo scorches to record pace on opening day

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Ryuichi Kiyonari has raced to a scorching opening day of the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Silverstone. The triple champion, currently in a battle with Shane Byrne for their elusive fourth title, diced with his rival on track during the final session of the afternoon.
"Of course I knew Shakey was behind me this afternoon - it was like we were on raceday already on track together and it felt like Assen again, waiting for him to try and pass me!

"I tried to pull a gap on him and I pushed hard but he was still watching me. It was good because we are very equal again and I think we can have a good fight in the races, but hopefully I can stay in front of him this weekend!"
Finishing the day 0.1 ahead of Byrne, the Japanese ace says that there’s still work to do on his Buildbase BMW.
"I didn't know what to expect today so I am happy thatwe were fastest and that the lap time came, not easily but we built up quickly and found good speed at the start.

"Today we have had a few problems with grip, with the tyre spinning up but we were still able to set fast lap times so we need to fix that tomorrow as we want to be consistent. I was happy with thepace today and I know if we work and fix the problems, which are not too big, then we can push harder.”
With rain scheduled for qualifying, the fast times set in free practice could prove crucial for Sunday’s forecasted dry races.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer