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Kiyo Crowned British Superbike Champion!

Author: Honda Racing Press Release
Posted on: Monday, Oct 02 2006

In the hotly anticipated race one, Shane Byrne grabbed the hole shot but Kiyo and Haslam soon passed him while Lavilla had a poor start and was running in eighth place at the end of the opening lap. However the frantic action was soon stopped; the race was red-flagged due to a heavy down pour of rain.

The grid was reformed from the riders positions on the second lap, handing pole position to Byrne; Haslam in second and Kiyonari in third while Lavilla started from sixth. Kiyo opted for intermediate tyres while both Haslam and Lavilla opted for cut slicks for the 17-lap race. The action was soon underway and once again Byrne got away first as Haslam and Kiyo rounded the first corner in second and third. Lavilla had a stronger start but disappointment was about to strike for the Spanish rider as he lost the front end and crashed out of the race on the opening lap. Leaving it to Haslam and Kiyo to battle it out around the famous GP track, and that they did. The pair fought a relentless battle as each rider profited from the varying track conditions, continually passing each other and thrilling the bumper crowds.

On lap nine Kiyo went ahead once more and despite Haslamís best efforts to pressurise the Honda rider into an error he kept his cool and held him off. As the pair embarked on lap 13, both riders still had everything to play for but a dramatic high-side from Byrne called for the race to be red-flagged. Kiyo claimed his 11th win of the year, his first around the GP track, and more importantly moved up to the top of the leader-board with an 18 point advantage over Haslam.

The maths was simple for race two, Kiyo only had to finish third and the Championship would be his. Lavilla again was forced to retire from the race. Kiyo grabbed the hole shot in race two and led until Haslam passed him on lap nine. The Honda rider then settled comfortably into second, a position he was to hold until the race was red-flagged on lap 15, when he claimed the British title with an eight-point advantage over Leon Haslam.

Meanwhile team mate Karl Harris failed to finish the first race but brought his season to a close in a well-earned fourth place in the second. Harris finished in fifth place in the overall Championship standings, four points shy of fourth placed Red Bull Honda rider Jonathan Rea.

Ryuichi Kiyonari:
ďIt is absolutely brilliant to win, for the team, for Honda, for Michelin, for everyone. I was a little nervous ahead of the weekend and then I had a tumble on Friday and the weather wasnít the best, but after Silverstone I had full confidence in the team and the bike. We did it and itís great, I am so happy for everyone.Ē

Karl Harris:
ďIím delighted for Kiyo, he deserves it. It hasnít been too bad a year for me either, a few podiums and some fantastic races and I have also race with the best team in the paddock and guys have been great, a big thank you to them all, itís just a shame that I didnít make it onto the rostrum but I was nearly there on four occasions!Ē

Neil Tuxworth:
ďWe are delighted that we have achieved our objectives with Kiyo winning the Championship, it has been excellent. It has been a hard at times but to end up here this weekend with only nine points separating the three riders is a fantastic climax, itís a shame the weather curtailed a bit of the racing but it was an excellent result all round.Ē

Superbike Race One Result
1, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 19m45.196s,
2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.181s,
3, Michael Rutter (Honda) +16.501s,
4, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +32.561s,
5, Glen Richards (Honda) +35.694s,
6, Scott Smart (Suzuki) +1Lap,
7, Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +1Lap,
8, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +1Lap,
9, James Haydon (Suzuki) +1Lap,
10, Chris Martin (Honda) +1Lap.

Fastest Lap: Ryuichi Kiyonari 1m28.532s (93.56mph)

Superbike Race Two Result
1, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 22m02.916s,
2, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +8.772s,
3, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +14.698s,
4, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) +17.939s,
5, Michael Laverty (Honda) +27.586s,
6, James Haydon (Suzuki) +32.449s,
7, Billy McConnell (Yamaha) +38.623s,
8, Michael Rutter (Honda) +40.544s,
9, Glen Richards (Honda) +41.621s,
10, Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +1m03.322s.

Best Lap: Leon Haslam 1m32.896 (89.16mph)

2006 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Result
1, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 466pts
2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 458pts
3, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 377pts
4, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 248pts
5, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) 244pts
6, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) 224pts
7, Michael Rutter (Honda) 206pts
8, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) 187pts
9, Michael Laverty (Honda) 179pts
10, Glen Richards (Honda) 151pts

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