Posted: 15 Mar 2013
2013 marks the return of Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari to the British Superbikes after a year spent in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. Last year he won the SuperSport 600cc class… but is he ready to come back to contend for his 4th BSB Championship win?
Kiyonari’s sights are set on becoming the BSB Champion this year and he will be pushing 100% to get it. “I think everyone will be trying to win the Championship this year, but every race I will be pushing 100% and giving it my maximum. Of course, I am aiming to be consistent but I also want to try to get every point that I can.”
This year Kiyonari joins the Samsung Honda team and is joined by team-mate and British Rider, Alex Lowes, in the garage. With obvious rivals in the garages that neighbour his, Kiyo thinks his Championship challenge comes from a little closer to home. “I think I have many rivals but especially my team mate [Alex Lowes]. He is young, strong and very, very fast. I would say that he is my main rival. To be honest, I think that everyone competing has a chance as they are all very fast.”
Will he miss racing in the Asia Road Racing Championship? “I am very happy to be back in BSB this year. I like the racing here as it is very competitive and I also love the British people as they are very friendly. The culture here is great too – I am happy to be here… The different championships are difficult to compare as they are different tracks and different bikes. It will be good to get back on a superbike instead of riding the 600cc.”
However, don’t despair Japanese racing fans. There is a high possibility that Kiyo will be back as he is planning to race the Suzuka 8-hour race once more and hopefully add some further trophies to his mantel piece - he’s a 4-times winner already. “I think I will be taking part this year, it is a very good race however it is very tough. Now that I am getting older I cannot do hard training but I do need to step up the amount that I do in run up to the 8 hour race. It would be great to do again as I love taking part, the prize money is good too!”
His advice for anyone looking to get into racing? “Don’t take too many risks. It is important to ride within your limits. If you push too hard or do crazy things you will get injured so it’s important to stay within your limits. Probably the most important thing to do is to make sure you enjoy every time you go out.
When asked about whether he was looking forward to the first round at Brands Hatch… “Yes, nervous, very nervous but I will try to work really hard.”
Here at Bike Social we don’t think Kiyo has anything to worry about, especially after seeing him getting to grips with the bike yesterday in the official test at Donington Park, and we wish him luck for the 2013 season.
To see the results from the test yesterday check out our round up articles here.