Kiyonari grabbed the holeshot in the first leg from fourth place on the grid and led his first race at the 2.176-mile circuit from start to finish to take his fifth victory of the year. The 22-year-old was in a class of his own as he set an impressively consistent pace aboard the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade, proving to be untouchable by the rest of the pack.
Rutter recovered from a collision with Red Bull Honda's Jonathan Rea on the approach to the first corner on the opening lap to make it another HM Plant Honda Racing one-two – the third of the season. Rutter adopted a watching brief behind Kiyonari, Richards and Haslam, before the latter two made mistakes, which culminated in their early retirements.
Race two however was more challenging for the HM Plant Honda Racing duo. Kiyonari struggled to find a way past Leon Haslam before he lost out a further position to eventual race winner Gregorio Lavilla. The factory Fireblade rider had to settle for third after trying everything in his armoury to pass his adversaries on the tight and twisty circuit. Kiyonari's impressive points tally has moved him up to third overall in the championship, despite missing the last two rounds due to injury.
His HM Plant Honda Racing team-mate had to work hard in race two to recover from an indifferent start on the outside of the second row. By the time that Rutter had fought through to the end of the leading group, there was nothing that the popular Leicestershire rider could do about the podium battle in the closing stages and he had to settle for fifth. Rutter now takes a healthy 46-point lead to the next round at Croft in three weeks, but not before he competes in the non-championship International North West 200 in Northern Ireland next Saturday.
Michael Rutter: “I can’t really complain about today’s results. I gave myself a lot of work to do by failing to qualify on the front row and the competition was really strong here this weekend. The main thing is that I still have a strong advantage at the head of the championship standings. I’m looking forward to trying to extend that on the HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade at Croft, where we went well last year.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “Today has been very difficult for me under the most challenging of conditions. It was the first time that I have completed two races since round two at Thruxton in early April. So, I was very tired towards the end of the second race. It was a new track for me and I found it difficult to learn. I don’t like to beaten in any circumstances, but I have to be happy with a first and a third today.”
Race one: 1. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) 30:22.490; 2. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) +7.783; 3. G. Lavilla (Ducati) +8.159; 4. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) +19.882; 5. S. Smart (Suzuki) +20.575; 6. M. Laverty (Honda) +21.002; 7. S. Emmett (Yamaha) +22.576; 8. G. Mason (Honda) +23.019; 9. J. McWilliams (Honda) +23.207; 10. J. Haydon (Suzuki) +24.974
Fastest lap: 1:40.582 – G. Richards (new lap record)
Race two: 1. G. Lavilla (Ducati) 30:21.071; 2. L. Haslam (Ducati) +0.018; 3. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) +0.387; 4. M. Laverty (Honda) +1.539; 5. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) +3.598; 6. G. Richards (Kawasaki) +7.437; 7. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) +9.623; 8. S. Smart (Suzuki) +13.029; 9. G. Mason (Honda) +15.140; 10. J. McWilliams (Honda) +21.943
Fastest lap: 1:40.076 – G. Lavilla (new lap record)
Championship points after round five: 1. Rutter – 195; 2. Lavilla – 149; 3. Kiyonari – 141; 4. Haslam – 120; 5. Richards – 114; 6. Harris – 102; 7. Emmett – 79; 8. Thomas – 69; 9. Smart – 62; 10. Mason – 54