News 4 Jul 2011

Hopkins and Kiyonari split wins at Snetterton 300 BSB round, Brookes third

Japanese defending BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari won race two at Snetterton.

Japanese defending BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari won race two at Snetterton.

Defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari won a thrilling second race at the Snetterton 300 circuit in an incident-packed final outing of the day for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

Kiyonari stole the lead on the last lap as Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and John Hopkins clashed for the lead, enabling him to go on to his second win of the weekend.

“I am of course happy for the win and I was lucky as I could have been third rather than first,” Kiyonari said. “I found it very difficult to pass Josh Brookes and then I tried to catch the leading group and I think with more laps maybe I could have.

“I am sorry for Shakey and John but we needed the win here for our championship especially after some bad results. Our hard work has finally paid off and my confidence is high so now I look forward to Oulton Park.”

Hopkins and Byrne’s clash allowed Aussie Josh Brookes to take second, followed by the American and the current series leader.

In race one it was Hopkins who took victory ahead of Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill and Byrne.

“That was a great race for me and the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki was working amazingly,” Hopkins said. “It was a hard one and I knew I might have something more here as we had tested at the track after Knockhill and to win for the first time here feels great.

“I am having so much fun out there and I knew I had the pace. The safety car stopped my flow a bit and I was getting a bit emotional but then I just had to get my focus back and try to get that win.

“It’s the 4 July weekend and what a way to celebrate that with a win in race one on this new track.”

Meanwhile, Kiyonari was fifth and Brookes seventh.