Donington BSB: Kiyo powers to pole

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Buildbase BMW rider Ryuichi Kiyonari has powered himself to pole position for the first time in the 2015 MCE British Superbike season, only just edging out James Ellison and Shane Byrne.

However, despite finishing 0.029 clear of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki of Ellison, Kiyonari is in a strong position for tomorrow’s two races, after mastering his race pace as well as his qualifying laps over the course of the opening two days of the weekend.

“It was very hard and before the final part of qualifying I was really nervous, but now it is done I am happy and ready for the races. There will be big battles, but I will try to push as hard as I can, with no more crashes - I hope! My bike is good; the set-up is perfect, now it is down to me.”

However, reigning champion Shane Byrne admitted afterwards that third place – and 0.2 off Kiyonari’s pace – is not where he planned on being despite only just returning from a broken hand sustained four weeks ago in Spain during testing.

"It has been a tough weekend for us. I am not going to harp on about being injured, but in reality I am a bit rusty, so not as sharp as I should be.

“The team has worked so hard over the winter on the bike, but now we are not really where we wanted to be after me flicking it to the moon in testing in Spain. The front row is important, though I am a bit disappointed to be two tenths of a second down, but we intend to get that sorted."

The first of the new Milwaukee Yamahas led the second row, with Josh Brookes only 0.06 behind Byrne even thought he team continue to run a bike that’s largely still a stock road bike. The second PBM Kawasaki of Stuart Easton was fifth, while Danny Buchan was an impressive sixth on the Be Wiser Kawasaki.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer