Three-time Bennetts British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari will make a shock return to the series at Oulton Park this weekend as he steps in for Dan Linfoot in the Honda Racing squad.
The Japanese enigma has vast experience with the Louth-based squad having taken all three of his titles (2006, 2007 and 2010) with them before switching to BMW in 2014.
Kiyonari returned to Japan after a tough few seasons in BSB and has been racing for the Moriwaki Honda squad in the Japanese Superbike Championship over the last two years.
Linfoot sustained a broken C6 vertebrae in a free practice crash at Brands Hatch three weeks ago and is hopeful of returning to action when the series resumes at Snetterton after the traditional road racing break.
“I am sorry to hear about Dan, and first of all I wish him a speedy recovery,” Kiyonari said. “I am happy to fill for him at Oulton Park with the team I have been racing with for a long time. BSB is a like a home to me and I am thrilled to be back racing with the boys again. I have been on the Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR since last season and with the team we know each other well. I will do my best to finish high up in the races.”
Team manager Havier Beltran added: “It’s great to have Kiyo back with us for Oulton Park and I can’t think of anyone better suited to fill in for Dan. Kiyo has a lot of history with Honda and this team, and it’s good that he knows most of the guys so it won’t take him long to get settled back in. He’s a very talented rider and Honda has always had an extremely high regard of his skills as a racer, and his long-term experience with the Fireblade will surely help the team.”