Ryuichi Kiyonari and Buildbase BMW Motorrad have made history at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland, with a MCE British Superbike (BSB) race win – the first ever for BMW Motorrad in the most competitive national championship – followed up with a second-place finish and a new lap record on the BMW S1000RR. The win comes just weeks after the Hawk Racing / BMW Motorrad team’s triple victories with Michael Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT.
Three-time BSB champion ‘Kiyo’ proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with after the weekend saw him leave the circuit with a Pole Position on Saturday and BMW Motorrad’s first ever British Superbike Championship race win and first podium finish on Sunday. The first race was Kiyo’s from beginning to end, with the Japanese rider leading from early on and taking an effortless-looking victory, his first since 2011, with a 4.861 second lead over current championship leader Shakey Byrne.
Kiyo got a great start in race two, instantly breaking away from the pack, together with Shakey Byrne. The two had their own, uninterrupted race, treating spectators and viewers to a nail-biting battle between two, three-time BSB champions. For the first two-thirds of the race, Kiyo was content to close in and hang close to Byrne’s back wheel, before launching a pass on the brakes to take the lead. Shortly after, though, the Japanese rider missed a gear change in the hairpin, allowing Shakey to pass him. However, even with the race end looming, he didn’t give up, going on to set a new lap record on the 29th of 30th laps and pushing Byrne all the way to the checkered flag.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said, “It was a very good race and I am so happy because this is important; it is a win again for me and also the first for BMW. I hope for the same again soon, because we want more wins now we have one!”
This was a view shared by team owner Stuart Hicken, who said, “Now that was some proper racing! It couldn’t really have been any better for Kiyo. We dream of having weekends like this as a team and now it’s happened. This year, we’ve taken BMW Motorrad’s first ever BSB win, as well as their first Senior TT win for 75 years – proving that the BMW S1000RR is a formidable race bike on the roads and on the track.”
You can view highlights of Kiyo’s races below: