Motorcycling: Kiyonari makes mark with help of local knowledge

The rookie rider Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed his first wins on the World Superbike stage with an impressive double here yesterday. The Honda rider, who is the reigning British Superbike champion, drew on his knowledge of the Kent track to outclass his more recognised rivals.

Kiyonari chased down the runaway championship leader, Xerox Ducati's Troy Bayliss in the opening race to claim his maiden victory before going toe to toe with, and beating, his Japanese countryman and 11-year veteran Noriyuki Haga in race two.

"I am very happy with the way this weekend has gone," Kiyonari said. "I had a lot of pressure from Haga in race two and on many corners it made me make mistakes. I am very happy for the wins." Bayliss extended his lead at the top of the championship standings to 82 points, with four rounds remaining, after he claimed second place behind Kiyonari in the first race.

Despite a disappointing 11th-placed finish in race two, after starting on pole, the Australian was content with his weekend's work. "I am just focusing on getting podiums at this stage," said Bayliss, whose nearest rival Max Neukirchner recorded finishes of seventh and fourth.

But the day belonged to Kiyonari who had served notice of his affinity with the Brands Hatch circuit on Saturday when he finished third quickest during qualifying.

Despite a lacklustre start to the opening race, when he dropped back to seventh place, the Honda rider's track knowledge proved crucial as he quickly picked off his rivals as he chased down Superpole winner Bayliss.

Kiyonari was on the back of the Australian by the seventh lap when Haga slipped out of contention when he lost his front end at Surtees.

Kiyonari eventually took the lead four laps from the end of the 25-lap race before easily outpacing Bayliss, who was forced to hold off the late surge of the Italian Max Biaggi to claim second.

Kiyonari and Haga dominated the second race as they embarked on an enthralling battle well ahead of the field.

They traded the lead on several occasions before a last-lap mistake from Haga, who was losing ground on his younger colleague, finally settled their duel.

The Australian Troy Corser claimed third place in the second race to draw to within 10 points of second-placed Neukirchner in the overall standings. Donington Park will host the next round of the season next month as the riders enjoy a four-week break.

Earlier during the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Brands Hatch today, rider Craig Jones (Team Parkalgar Honda) crashed at Clark Curve and appeared to be struck by a following rider, sustaining a serious head injury. The race was immediately stopped.

Jones was initially treated at the scene by the MSVR Medical Team, and then transferred to the Circuit Medical Centre for further assessment and treatment before being flown by the Kent Air Ambulance to the Royal London Hospital – the leading trauma centre in the region.

* Four-time world champion Sébastien Loeb of France won the Rally Finland yesterday for the first time and closed in on the overall championship lead. Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, the overall leader, finished nine seconds behind in second place after 340 kilometres (211 miles) of special stages. The 34-year-old Frenchman is now just one point behind Hirvonen in the world championship standings.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee