Rasen racer Kiyonari gets first taste of new Suzuki

Ryuichi Kiyonari is switching to the Bennetts Suzuki team for 2016 EMN-160222-153844002
Ryuichi Kiyonari is switching to the Bennetts Suzuki team for 2016 EMN-160222-153844002

Market Rasen-based rider Ryuichi Kiyonari began his pre-season preparations last week as he completed his first laps of the 2016 season at Brands Hatch.

The Japanese racer took part in an initial shakedown test with his new team, Bennett’s Suzuki, prior to heading to Spain in March to get his pre-season testing underway.

The three-time MCE British Superbike champion returned from Japan last week and joined team-mate Tommy Bridewell at the Kent circuit.

They went out for some initial laps on the Bennett’s Suzuki in damp conditions before the team head to Cartagena and Guadix to begin their pre-season testing in earnest.

Kiyonari said: “I’m very happy to be back. I have only been in the UK a day, but I was excited because I haven’t been on a bike since Silverstone.

“It was wet but I enjoyed it. I know the potential of the Suzuki from the Suzuka Eight-Hour; it is different, but the machine is good.

“The team have a lot of experience; today our target was to check everything for Spain and that is what we did.

“Spain will be a proper test and I have confidence with the team. We have a plan for Cartagena and Guadix and I just need to adapt to the bike ready for the season.”

Kiyonari will begin his 2016 championship challenge when the series kicks off at Silverstone over the weekend of April 8 to 10.