Kiyonari Leads the Way in England

Cycle News Staff | August 1, 2008

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari used local knowledge to lead a Japanese sweep of the top three places and take the provisional pole for Sunday’s World Superbike races at Brands Hatch in England. The double British Superbike Champion topped a tight pack of riders by lapping the 2.3-mile track in Kent, just east of London, in a time of 1:26.017 mins. The time was well off the circuit best of 1:25.449 turned by Troy Bayliss in 2006. Bayliss ended the first session down in 12th, but only .614 secs. off the fast time. Just more than a second covered the top 16 riders. Behind Kiyonari came two World Superbike veterans, Yamaha Motor Italia’s Nori Haga and Alstare Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama. Then came Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati’s Max Biaggi. The provisional front row was covered by .149 secs. Guandalini Racing’s Jakub Smrz (Duc) heads the provisional second row from another former British Superbike Champion Gregorio Lavilla. Lavilla, the 2005 BSB champ who now rides for the Ventaxia VK Honda team, just edged out the second Yamaha Motor Italia bike of Troy Corser. D.F.Racing’s Karl Muggeridge (Hon) qualified eighth. Wild card Tom Sykes qualified the Rizla Suzuki ninth in front of the second Alstare Suzuki of Fonsi Nieto. The factory Xerox Ducatis followed, Michel Fabrizio in front of Troy Bayliss. Alto Evolution Honda’s Jason Pridmore qualified 29th in his first session at Brands Hatch. Friday Superbike Qualifying: 1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:26.017 2. Nori Haga (Yamaha) 1:26.144 3. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1:26.156 4. Max Biaggi (Ducati) 1:26.16 5. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:26.290 6. Gregorio Lavilla (Honda) 1:26.441 7. Troy Corser (Yamaha) 1:26.461 8. Karl Muggeridge (Honda) 1:26.565 9. Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 1:26.572 10. Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki) 1:26.582 11. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:26.593 12. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1:26.631 13. Ruben Xaus (Ducati) 1:16.753 14. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1:26.830 15. Roby Rolfo (Honda) 1:26.921