Donington BSB: Kiyo on top on day one of 2015

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Ryuichi Kiyonari has topped the first day of the 2015 MCE British Superbike season, leading the day’s free practice sessions by only 0.01 from reigning champion Shane Byrne.

However, the Buildbase BMW rider was able to put together an impressive string of laps despite crashing out at the half way point. Completing 15 laps, the Japanese rider was within 0.5 of last year’s race pace for most of the run.

“I tried to do a long run, but lap by lap it was getting better and better, and I though ‘woaaah!’ I’m starting to understand the bike a bit better. Then I went in not too hard, but with a little bit more speed, used the back brake, and woaaaahh, I went onto the gravel!

“Especially this morning was a very good start for us, and we’ve just been trying to make constant lap times as I try to understand the new bike. Now I understand the bike, but we’re still working on getting a good base setting. Last year was faster than so far, but this bike has more potential.”

Byrne was a further 0.075 ahead of fellow Kawasaki rider James Ellison, while Billy McConnell was an impressive fourth on his BSB debut day. Equally impressive was Christian Iddon in fifth on the Bennetts Suzuki despite battling illness.

Josh Brookes was the best of the Milwaukee Yamahas in sixth, as the team start to find pace with their new bikes. 

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer