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Jun 28, 2014

Kiyonari On British Superbike Pole Position At Knockhill

Ryuichi Kiyonari (23).

Round four Knockhill 28-29 June


Datatag Extreme Qualifying:

1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) 48.112s
2: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.004s
3: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.118s
4: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.060s
5: James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +0.095s
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +0.185s


Japan’s Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed a sensational pole position for the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Knockhill. The triple champion pushed out Josh Brookes by just 0.004s on his final lap to return to the top in Datatag Extreme Qualifying for the first time since 2010.

The Buildbase BMW rider saved the best for last to outgun Brookes aboard the Milwaukee Yamaha in a frantic session which saw the positions change at the top six times in the final eight minutes and end with the top ten covered by just 0.569s.

Kiyonari secured Buildbase BMW’s first pole start of the season, he said: “I am very happy and feel confident with the bike that I can push on. I did faster laps, then went back some places and then on the last lap I knew I had to push and just thought ‘go’. We will push hard tomorrow and hopefully we can win, or at least be on the podium. I will try one hundred percent again for the races.”

Brookes, currently third in the standings and the only rider to have beaten Byrne so far, thought that he had done enough to secure pole. He said: “I thought that will do us and I had done enough to get pole without taking any risks. Usually I like Kiyo, but I don’t right now!”

Byrne will start from third on the grid alongside Kiyonari and Brookes. He had a brief stint at the top and knows he has what it takes to fight back tomorrow. Byrne said: “I’ve always said that pole was not that important but being on the front row here is. We will work hard tonight to find that extra bit so we can fight for the wins again tomorrow.”

Byrne’s pace was enough to relegate his team-mate, Flying Scot Stuart Easton, who had also led the session momentarily, back into fourth place and a second row start alongside James Ellison on the leading Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki. James Westmoreland on the second Buildbase BMW completes row two.

Jakub Smrz on the Millsport Ducati, Chris Walker on the second Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki and Bathams BMW rider Michael Rutter are on the third row with a top ten featuring four different manufacturers.

Tommy Bridewell had set the seventh best time, but a three grid place penalty was imposed on the Milwaukee Yamaha rider after a black and orange flag infringement in free practice, relegated him to the fourth row.

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More, from a press release issued by Milwaukee Yamaha:

Milwaukee Yamaha were denied the pole position at Knockhill today ahead of the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by just 0.004 seconds as Josh Brookes lines up second on the grid for the opening race and Tommy Bridewell in tenth position.

Brookes had been pushing for his second pole position of the season and with the improvements made by the team during free practice and qualifying, the Australian is confident heading in to race day tomorrow. On the opposite side of the garage Tommy Bridewell had a challenging day in Scotland. A technical problem and then a crash gave the team a huge amount of work ahead of qualifying, but the dedicated crew and a determined Bridewell turned the day around to qualify seventh. Bridewell will line up tenth on the grid for the opening race after he was issued a three grid place penalty for a delayed response to the black and orange flags in free practice three this morning.

Brookes said: “Normally I like Kiyo and he is one of my favourite past team-mates, but not right now because we were here to take the pole position. I am quite happy with where we are now because I started the weekend a bit frustrated but we have worked hard and fine tuned the Milwaukee Yamaha and that has given me confidence to push to the limit. We have been making improvements throughout qualifying and today it has been a race in the pitlane as well as on the track to achieve the results we have and I need to thank the team for their work. We were close today and we didn’t give up and we certainly will be pushing again tomorrow in the races.”

Bridewell said: “I was happy at the end of the day with the pace that we had in qualifying, especially as the bike was completely rebuilt and new after the crash this morning. It takes time when you are in that position to get your confidence back usually, but we didn’t have time for that and we just had to go for it. We banged in some laps and got through to Q3 and although I was seventh I have to start tenth which has me even more determined for the races. I need to get a good start and make back those positions and I will be giving everything to make sure that happens and I won’t be taking any prisoners. I am ready for tomorrow and that is down to the team and their hard work so thanks to them.”

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