Ryuichi Kiyonari previews World Superbike Misano (photo)

Ryuichi Kiyonari is focused on returning to the World Superbike championship podium as his Ten Kate Honda Racing team heads to Misano in north-east Italy for round eight of the 2009 series this weekend (19-21 June).

The Japanese ace, who enjoyed three race victories in his debut season last year, has had frustratingly mixed results recently. A double podium finish at Monza in Italy last month was followed by unsatisfactory results in South Africa a week later.

A return to form during practice and qualifying at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA two weeks ago did not translate into race success for Kiyonari, however. The Honda Accessories-backed rider, had to contend with the rear tyre slipping on the rim of his CBR1000RR Fireblade in both races, dropping him from a front row grid position to fourth and fifth places in the two outings.

Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks…

8th in Championship

"It was a little bit frustrating in America because the team worked so hard to give me a bike to put on the front row. We showed that we had the pace to run at the front but the problems that appeared only in the races did not allow us to do that. But I think we have made good progress in the last few weeks and I want to continue that in Misano by returning to the podium. The results there last season were not so good but, so far this year, things have been better when I return to a track that was new last year. As always I will try my best for a good result."

Ronald ten Kate Speaks…

Team Manager

"Kiyo-san needs a sprinkling of good luck this weekend to translate his good form and the hard work of his crew into more good results. He showed front-running pace in all practice and qualifying sessions in America and his front row start was fully deserved. He had some bad luck in the two races but the steps forward we have made with the bike recently will hopefully put him in a position to run at the front once again in Misano this weekend."

WSBK Misano Schedule

Friday, 19 June
12.45-13.45 – free practice
16.15-17.15 – qualifying 1

Saturday, 20 June
10.45-11.30 – qualifying 2
14.00-14.45 – free practice
15.00-15.12 – Superpole 1
15.19-15.31 – Superpole 2
15.38-15.50 – Superpole 3

Sunday, 21 June
09.20-09.40 – Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (24 laps, 101.424km)
15.30 Race 2 (24 laps, 101.424km)