It was certainly a big turn around for Rasen riders Jason O’Halloran and Ryuichi Kiyonari at the weekend after both had a weekend to forget after the first round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
The second round, which was hosted by the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, threw up its usual drama and thrills.
Both Kiyo and O’Halloran made it into the final top 10 shoot-out in qualifying and the Japanese born rider claimed third, with the Australian claiming an impressive seventh, with just 0.236 seconds separating them.
To put this into perspective, that’s just half the time it takes for a cricket ball to leave the hand of an England pace bowler and reach the batsman. It was the blisteringly quick James Ellison, riding the JG Speedfit Kawasaki who took pole, setting a new Superbike Evo spec lap time in the process.
Kiyonari showed familiar, impressive form in race 1 after comfortably sitting in second place, behind Ellison. But a late safety car after a crash from Peter Hickman and three added laps meant that Shakey Byrne could edge his way past and also allowed Josh Brookes to take third away from Kiyonari by just 0.026 seconds.
O’Halloran rode an impressive race to finish in his best ever result, claiming fifth place just behind Kiyo and ahead of Scotsman, Stuart Easton. Ellison went on to win the first race.
Race 2 saw Ryuichi Kiyonari start his 200th British Superbike race, as he started on the front row of the grid, behind James Ellison. Kiyo had a good start to the race, but was soon devoured by reigning champion, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Kiyo and Byrne battled their way round the Brands Hatch Indy circuit until the Japanese rider made a very risky move into Druids. Kiyo got it all wrong and ran wide, allowing the Australian Brookes to come through. Kiyonari went on to claim another fourth position, boosting him up into sixth in the championship.
O’Halloran had another strong outing on the Louth based ‘Honda Racing’ bike, and ended up 10th overall, snatching six valuable points from Milwaukee Yamaha and ex MotoGP rider, Broc Parkes. Ellison again went on the take a striking win, claiming his first ever double race victory, and moving up to second in the championship, just six points behind Byrne.
The next round on May bank holiday weekend at Oulton Park promises to be as thrilling as the previous two rounds and if Kiyo and the “O Show” continue this incredible form, they could be in for a very triumphant weekend indeed.