British Superbikes: Tough weekend for Kiyonari; O’Halloran in sixth overall

Jason O'Halloran Picture: DAVE YEOMANS EMN-160627-134328002
Jason O'Halloran Picture: DAVE YEOMANS EMN-160627-134328002

Market Rasen riders Jason O’Halloran and Ryuichi Kiyonari headed north of the border to Knockhill last weekend for round four of the British Superbikes.

O’Halloran recorded ninth and fifth-place finishes, while Kiyo crashed out of race one and finished the second down in 19th.

Ryuichi Kiyonari PICTURE: DAVE YEOMANS EMN-160627-134341002

Ryuichi Kiyonari PICTURE: DAVE YEOMANS EMN-160627-134341002

Kiyo was returning to action for the first time since breaking his collarbone at the previous round and spent much of Friday practice finding his feet on board the GSX-R1000.

He progressed comfortably from Q1, but unfortunately couldn’t hang on to his position in the top nine and finished the session 14th.

Things didn’t quite go to plan on race day and Kiyo was left down in 20th for much of the 30-lap affair before crashing at turn three on the penultimate lap.

In the second race he was held up by an accident early on and was unable to recover and finished down in 19th.

“This was a tough weekend and not a good one for me,” he said. “I was able to ride, but my collarbone was very sore.

“My bike felt good, but unfortunately I crashed in the first race and got caught up in an accident at the start of race two which cost me a lot of time.

“I’m disappointed to come away without any points, and I’m sorry for the team, as everyone put in a lot of hard work, but I will now rest and come back stronger at Snetterton.”

An action-packed wet qualifying session saw O’Halloran secure a front row start to Sunday’s first race just a thousandth of a second away from pole on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

The rain failed to materialise for the first race, but the Australian started well and was looking good for a podium finish.

By lap five he had dropped to fourth when the safety car was deployed. Once the car left the track O’Halloran was unable to regroup and eventually crossed the finish line in ninth place.

The rain arrived for race two and O’Halloran kept his cool. Using his wet weather skills he made his way through the pack to secure a top five finish.

“It’s been a tough day for us as race one was difficult and we seemed to struggle with the dry setting,” he said.

“I just concentrated on finishing as best I could to salvage as many points as possible and then make some changes for the second race.

“It was wet for race two and although we had a good wet setting, starting from the fourth row is difficult in the early laps.

“To come from 12th and finish fifth in those conditions is good and I’m now confident with the bike in the wet.”

The next round is at Snetterton in Norfolk on July 10.