Kiyonari finds form at last but Lowes crashes out in mixed weekend for Samsung Honda at Knockhill

Ryuichi Kiyonari finally found his form on his Samsung Honda. Photo: John Mushet
Ryuichi Kiyonari finally found his form on his Samsung Honda. Photo: John Mushet

Ryuichi Kiyonari finally found his form on his Samsung Honda with two third placed podium finishes at Knockhill but teammate Alex Lowes saw his fortunes plummet with a crash and a fourth place.

After a long break the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship headed north to Scotland.

Holding a small lead in the championship over rival and reigning champion Shane Byrne, Lowes was hoping for a good showing on the tight 1.2 mile circuit.

Qualifying in third and with Kiyo in fifth the two 30 laps races were held on Sunday in front of a large crowd in sunny weather conditions.

Lowes had been part of the leading pack with team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari; however Lowes made a mistake at the Hairpin half-way through the race which left him sliding out of contention.

Kiyonari was then the lone ranger for the team and he continued to improve his pace to hold a clear third position; his first podium since 2011.

In race two the Samsung Hondas were in formation with Lowes leading Ryuichi Kiyonari until the start of the 18th lap when the triple champion made a move on the brakes into turn one before edging away from his team-mate.

Kiyonari celebrated a double podium finish for the first time since 2010 to move closer to the top six in the standings.

A disappointed Lowes is now hoping for better luck at the next round at Snetterton in three weeks’ time.

After the race, Kiyonari said: “To take this double podium is very good, but now I want better results next time out.

“For sure I’m very happy and now I hope for more results and I will be trying to do my best to go faster as I want wins. I will keep trying to improve my performance in every round to build on these results.

“It’ll be difficult but I will work hard with the team. I feel much happier and I have to thank the team.”

Alex Lowes was uninjured in the crash in race one and was philosophical about his weekend’s fortunes.

“In the first race I was going good, but was struggling in the last sector compared to Byrne and Brookes and the crash was just unlucky,” he said.

“We made some changes for the second race but they didn’t work as well as we had hoped, but if you can’t be third you may as well be fourth because points are important for the championship, especially here at a circuit where I have struggled in the past.

“It is never nice to drop back in the standings, but I used my head as points are more important than having another crash.”

In the 600cc Supersport races Samsung’s Australian rider Jason O’Halloran had a mixed weekend. Qualifying in fifth place in race one he was caught up ina crash on the warn up lap with reigning champion fellow Austrailian Glen Richards. In race two on lap 11 Jason had a technical fault and had to retire in what was a very disappointing weekend for him and his team.