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Kiyo does the double again!

Author: HM Plant Honda
Posted on: Monday, Apr 11 2005

The Japanese Superbike sensation didn't make the best start to race one but soon made up for this with incredible progress through the pack in the early stages, passing's Karl Harris, his team-mate Michael Rutter and Sean Emmett to take the lead by lap five. Once in the lead, the HM Plant Honda Racing rider didn't look back, lapping consistently quicker than everyone else and crossing the finish line with almost ten seconds in hand. This was the fifth consecutive win on the factory-backed Fireblade for Kiyonari, which handed him a 22-point lead in the series after the first leg.

Michael Rutter, who had made a good start into second place behind Sean Emmett, was taken by surprise as Kiyonari passed him in the early stages. This gave the Leicestershire rider the wake-up call he needed and he set his sights on catching his Japanese team-mate. Rutter soon had the better of Sean Emmett but was unable (like the rest of the field) to make any ground on Kiyonari, so was forced to settle for second place and 20 points.

It was a great start to the second leg by both HM Plant Honda riders into first and second places respectively and they soon proceeded to pull away at the front – the only real challenge to the HRC-backed Hondas coming from ex-World Superbike rider Gregorio Lavilla.

The safety car came out on lap six when Tristan Palmer crashed heavily. This meant that all the riders soon bunched up behind Kiyonari, negating the advantage he had built up in the early stages. Once normal action resumed, the two factory Fireblade riders were split by Lavilla, who put up a real challenge to the Japanese rider's dominance for the remainder of the 22-lap race. However, he was unable to pass the championship leader, who took yet another victory for the HM Plant Honda Racing team. Michael Rutter finished in third, collecting another 16 points towards his championship challenge.

Ryuichi Kiyonari: "That went well for me today. Once I had passed some of the other riders, I concentrated on making sure my lap times were consistently fast and that I was able to run comfortably at the front. I had to fight for the race two victory though. I got the start I wanted but when the safety car came out, I knew that I'd have a race on my hands. I also knew that my Michelin tyres would last the race distance, so all I had to do was keep Lavilla behind me. I made my mind up that I didn't want to have to defend any overtaking manoeuvres, so I just went as fast as I could until I was sure of the victory."

Michael Rutter: "I would have liked to have gone for the win in race one but – as at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago – Kiyo was unstoppable. Race two was even tougher so I'm happy to be on the podium again but I don't know what I'm going to do about my team-mate! He’s injured and is still able to go out there and win races. Seriously though, it's great for HM Plant Honda Racing and we couldn't have hoped for a better start to the year."

Superbike race one result: 1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) 28:05.231; 2. Michael Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) + 9.672; 3. G. Lavilla (Ducati) + 12.111; 4. L.Haslam (Ducati) + 15.791; 5. S.Emmett (Yamaha) + 15.817; 6. K.Harris ( + 17.628; 7. S. Smart (Suzuki) + 18.340; 8. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) + 18.615; 9. G. Richards (Kawasaki) + 25.311; 10. T. Hill (Yamaha) + 32.655

Fastest lap: G. Lavilla (Ducati) 1:15.699

Superbike race two result: 1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) 28:45.734; 2. G. Lavilla (Ducati) + 0.444; 3. Michael Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) + 1.298; 4. S. Emmett (Yamaha) + 7.055; 5. G. Richards (Kawasaki) + 8.896; 6. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) + 9.066; 7. L. Haslam (Ducati) + 9.188; 8. K. Harris (Honda) + 10.392; 9. J. McWilliams (Honda) + 21.668; 10. S. Plater (Kawasaki) + 21.833

Fastest lap: G. Lavilla (Ducati) 1:15.577 (New lap record)

Championship points after two rounds: 1. Kiyonari – 100; 2. Lavilla – 72; 3. Rutter – 69; 4. Emmett – 46; 5. Richards – 43; 6. Harris – 38; 7. Haslam – 35; 8. Thomas – 31; 9. Smart – 17; 10=. Reynolds, Hill, McWilliams – 16

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