Kiyo has mountain to climb with Suzuki

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Ryuichi Kiyonari was blunt and disarmingly honest as he began his 2016 season on the Bennetts Halsall Suzuki at Cartagena today.

“Last year I was too slow so I must practice, practice, practice.” he said during a break between sessions. The three time BSB champion had a nightmare season on the Buildbase BMWs in 2015, falling to 20th in the overall standings after pushing Shane Byrne all the way to the wire the previous year.

His switch to Suzuki during the winter maintains his foothold in the championship but it is not without his challenges as he graphically explained. “Apart from ten minutes on the bike at Brands Hatch I have not ridden the bike before now.” the Japanese rider said.

“It felt very good but we have to do many things. There are many new parts to try and I want to do many laps to make confidence and get more fast.” Admitting there were “many things to get used to with this bike.” Kiyo was straight to the point when asked what was the biggest challenge he faced and how long it would take to adapt to the Suzuki. “I don’t know that.” he exclaimed. “If I knew that I would fix it right away.”

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Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer