Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari won his first-ever World Superbike race by chasing down and passing World Championship leader Troy Bayliss in the final laps in a thrilling first race at Brands Hatch in England. The race, which was effectively a home race for Kiyonari who is the non-defending British Superbike Champion, went to the bitter end with three riders covered by .180 of a second after 25 laps at Brands. The third rider in the mix was Sterilgarda Go Eleven’s Max Biaggi, the Italian rider getting in the fight in the final laps as Kiyonari and Bayliss did battle. Bayliss, meanwhile, came up just .137 of a second short at the finish line. Fourth place went to Alstare Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama, the Japanese rider 5.7 seconds behind and less than a second clear of his teammate Fonsi Nieto, the Spaniard barely besting countryman Carlos Checa on the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda. The third Alstare Suzuki ended up seventh with Max Neukirchner beating Yamaha Motor Italia’s Troy Corser with Corser well clear of the battle for ninth that ultimately went to Guandalini Racing’s Jakub Smrz over Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Robby Rolfo. Rizla Suzuki’s British Superbike Series contender Tom Sykes ran near the front until retiring with mechanical woes on the 10th lap. Noriyuki Haga, who qualified a close second to Bayliss, ended up 19th. Ruben Xaus, meanwhile, didn’t start the race and will not race in the second race after coming down with a severe flu. After 19 races in the World Championship, Bayliss leads Neukirchner by a whopping 90 points, 329-239. Race One 1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 2. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 3. Max Biaggi (Ducati) 4. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 5. Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki) 6. Carlos Checa (Honda) 7. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 8. Troy Corser (Yamaha) 9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 10. Robby Rolfo (Honda)
Race One To Kiyonari
Paul Carruthers | Editor
Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.