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Oct 9, 2010

Hill Takes Superpole, But Kiyonari Wins British Superbike Race One Saturday At Oulton Park

Ryuichi Kiyonari (8).

Race one 16 laps:
1.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 25m 43.282s
2.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki)+0.821s
3.James Ellison (Swan Honda) +5.707s
4.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +8.459s
5.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +14.627s
6.Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Quay Garage Honda) +15.001s

Championship standings:
1.Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 609
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 599
3.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 589
4.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 583
5.Michael Rutter ( Ducati) 546
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 530


Ryuichi Kiyonari goes into the final two races of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park knowing that a winning double will secure the country's top crown. The HM Plant Honda rider warmed up for that challenge by taking the victory in the Saturday afternoon opening race at the Cheshire circuit ahead of the series leading Worx Suzuki rider Tommy Hill.

There are just 10 points between them, but far from being a private duel for supremacy they also have to take account of the threats posed by both Josh Brookes and Michael Laverty who are in close contention after determined rides at the Cheshire circuit saw them pack the points as they ran in the top five.

Kiyonari, the former two times winner of the crown had to work hard to secure his fourth victory of the campaign. On the opening lap, he was running in fourth place as James Ellison, who had made a perfect get-away, led on his Swan Honda from Hill who had earlier in the afternoon won the Swan Combi Roll for Pole for a sixth time at record breaking pace. Michael Laverty, riding Relentless Suzuki was third, while Brookes, aboard the second HM Plant Honda was back in eleventh place, just in front of Alastair Seeley.

Kiyonari was third on the second lap, and then with a stylish move through on the inside at Hizzy's nosed ahead of Hill on the fifth lap and began to reel in race leading Ellison, accounting for him with a neat more at Island on the eighth lap. By then, Title Fighter Michael Rutter had seen his hopes of the crown ended as a machine problem sidelined his Ducati.

Hill tried everything he knew to reel in Kiyonari, but the Japanese rider was able to up the tempo in the closing stages, taking the victory by 0.821secs and afterwards he reflected: "That was a very hard race. The others were very fast, but I have scored good points.

"It was not easy to win, but now I am in a good positions and know that if I win the final two races then I will be champion, but that will be tough," added Kiyonari who can expect more hard challenges from Hill in the two Sunday afternoon races. "I'll have him then," promised Hill. "Kiyo did us in that race, I seemed to lose a little too him in the turns and had a few little moments. The pressure is on us riders now, but that was the idea with the points scoring system."

Hill has the edge, 609-599 points up on Kiyonari, with Brookes third in the standings on 589 points after a battling performance into fifth place, just adrift of Laverty who remains in contention to take the crown for the first time in fourth place on 583 points.

The scrap for the BSB-EVO Championship intensified as Hudson Kennaugh, riding Splitlath Aprilia, snatched last lap victory from series leading Jentin BMW rider Steve Brogan whose advantage going into the final two races has been cut to just three points.

More, from a press release issued by Swan Honda:


The Swan Honda team returned to the podium in the opening race of the weekend at OultonPark as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season finale got underway with James Ellison securing a strong third place.

Ellison led from the start of the race but came under increasing pressure from rivals Tommy Hill and Ryuichi Kiyonari, however a chatter problem prevented him from sustaining the position and he ended the race in third. Easton from his second row start held a consistent seventh place and now has some changes to make ahead of the final two races tomorrow.

Ellison said: "The team deserved that podium so much as they have worked so hard this weekend to get me up there, especially as I didn't race here earlier in the year. It was a tough race and I thought I would have the pace to match the others, but eight laps in we discovered a slight chatter problem that we hadn't encountered until then, but we know we can try something tomorrow morning to solve it. I think if we can do that then we will definitely be able to fight for those final two wins tomorrow."

Easton said: "Today hasn't been bad for me; qualifying went well and I was feeling quite happy. We went a bit softer on the forks for the race and it just wasn't as comfortable and I wasn't able to push as hard as I would have liked. We know what needs to be done in the morning though and I think we can move forward again as my ideal lap times were consistently good in qualifying. I want to spray the champagne tomorrow and I won't want to settle for less."

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:


Tommy Hill is in fighting form this weekend at Oulton Park as the fight for the British Superbikes Championship counts down into the final day of reckoning.

Today, in front of a huge 20,000+ crowd, Hill dramatically snatched pole position in qualifying and then took second place in the opening race of weekend. He now carries a 10-point advantage into the last two races of the championship.

The weekend had started slowly for Hill with lower leader board times in Friday's free practice sessions. But this morning, the Worx Crescent Suzuki team reverted to the set-up used on Hill's GSX-R1000 for the meeting held here in May, and Hill immediately jumped to second fastest in final free practice. In the three-stage Swan Roll for Pole qualifying, Hill dominated, setting fastest lap in each of the sessions.

Hill got a good start in the first race of the weekend but lost momentum when James Ellison lunged across him in the first turn. Consequently he was held up behind Ellison for the opening laps of the race, allowing Championship rival Ryuichi Kiyonari to close up and pass. When Kiyonari passed Ellison, Hill followed suit and the pair broke away from the pack. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit, Hill was unable to put a safe pass on the Japanese rider before the flag - finishing just 0.821-seconds behind.

Tommy Hill:

"I'm fairly happy with today, but it's not really good enough, we need to be at 100%. I rode my heart out and I really wanted to beat Kiyo, but it wasn't to be.

"So tomorrow's going to be a big day. I'm mindful that Josh Brookes will start from the second row in the first race and that might bring him into the frame, and as team-mate to Kiyo he'll be one to keep an eye on. But as it stands on lap times, Kiyo and I are a good two-tenths ahead of the rest, so my best tactic has to be getting a great start and clear out.

"It's a take no prisoners situation; all that's happened today has got the adrenaline running, if anything - if it was at all possible - I want the championship even more now!"

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:

"An exciting day! The important thing right now is to keep our head down and keep on with the pace. On his old settings Tommy's really comfortable with his bike and he's able to be really physical with it. He's got the fastest pace of anyone here. He just has to get the starts and get out in front.

"Tommy's team-mate Yukio Kagayama has had a steady weekend in terms of qualifying (12th) and race result (13th) but significantly he started today's race well and was a hurdle for Brookes to overcome in the early stages of the race, so he was a tactical help to Tommy today. Hopefully tomorrow, Yukio can get good starts and help again. We'll see.

"No question, though, it's all on for tomorrow. And with five points being the difference between first and second places - and ten points being the point's difference between Tommy and Kiyo - we're looking for wins to make the title ours."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Round 12, Oulton Park:

Swan Combi Roll for Pole:

1. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1m:35.236s
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.064s
3. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +0.601s
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.870s
5. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.938s
6. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +1.026s
7. Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +1.323s
8. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Quay Garage Honda) +1.359s
9. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.380s
10. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +9.001s
12. Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +1.675s

Race one:

1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki)+0.821s
3. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +5.707s
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +8.459s
5. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +14.627s
6. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Quay Garage Honda) +15.001s
7. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +16.839s
8. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +20.109s
9. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +28.032s
10. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +32.829s
13. Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki)+34.725s

Championship standings after Oulton Park race one:

1. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 609
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 599
3. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 589
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 583
5. Michael Rutter ( Ducati) 546
6. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 530
15. Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 84
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