BSB: Kiyonari dropped from Bennetts Suzuki team

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Ryuichi Kiyonari has been dropped from the Bennetts Suzuki squad with immediate effect after another disastrous weekend at Brands Hatch.

MCN understands the three time British Champion was called in to a meeting with team owner Martin Halsall after he’d spent the second race fighting with Shaun Winfield and Aaron Zanotti to cross the line almost a minute behind the leaders.  

Halsall has made no secret that he is disappointed in Kiyonari’s performance this year. He only once showed pace that resembled his BSB calibre as he shot into the top ten in practice at the Brands Hatch Indy round before falling and breaking his collarbone.

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However, with numerous trips to Japan for the Suzuka 8 Hour, Kiyonari was massively off the pace as he returned to Brands Hatch, telling MCN he was ‘confused’ after spending time riding a bike that was so different and on Dunlop tyres in the prestigious endurance race.

Kiyonari’s miserable weekend came as team-mate Tommy Bridewell looked to be in the best form he’s been in all season as he fought for victory in the opening race after qualifying on the front row. Unfortunately, a slip off on the final lap saw him miss out on what would have been at least a third placed finish. 

It is understood the team will announce Kiyonari’s departure in due course, but it is not yet known whether they have a replacement in mind for the Cadwell Park round later this month. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing