|A certain championship contender for 2014|
Photo: Buildbase BMW
Kiyonari's recent return to form aboard Stuart Hicken's Buildbase BMW S1000RR showed more promise over the practice and qualifying campaign of the 'Party in the Park' weekend, as the former triple BSB champion swapped top spot on the time sheets regularly with fellow triple champion Shane Byrne.
The BMW man grabbed a front row start for race one as he finished the Datatag Extreme Qualifying with a lap of the Lincolnshire circuit just over half a second off Byrne's record shattering time.
Monday's first race was delayed briefly due to the ever threatening dark clouds sprinkling a greasy layer on the lincolnshire circuit's asphalt. With the track mostly dry, along with the clouds ever looming, race one got underway with Kiyonari bursting his way through to the front of the pack early on, maintaining his lead for several laps before unexpectedly raising his arm and pulling to the side of the circuit along the Park 'Straight'. The championship contender pulled into the pits where it emerged that a 'faulty ignition unit and spark plug' ended his winning aspirations.
Kiyonari lined up in pole position on the sopping wet grid for race two after setting the fastest lap in race one but failed to capitalise on the advantage and dropped back behind the leaders Byrne and Hickman, battling with race one victor Bridewell for the final podium spot. Looking to stay in touch with the leading duo, Kiyonari highsided coming out of the Hairpin at the end of lap five, putting an end to his promising weekend.
The Japanese rider sits 3rd in the championship standings with his Showdown spot confirmed as the BSB series heads to Donington Park in two weeks time. “It was so wet and slippery out on track, I hit a puddle at the hairpin and next thing I am flying over the front of the bike, and I catch my foot which hurt – thankfully I was okay and walked away. I was frustrated to have to stop in the first race too. But I am in the Showdown for sure and I will be fine to ride at Donington Park.”