Kiyonari eighth fastest despite Superpole crash (photo)
In changeable weather conditions, Ryuichi Kiyonari set the eighth fastest time in today’s Superpole sessions at Misano in Italy to secure a second row start for tomorrow’s two eighth round World Superbike championship races.
The Japanese ace had been running near the top of the leaderboard in all earlier practice sessions but opted to use his two allotted Pirelli qualifiers in the second Superpole session to ensure progression to the final eight-rider shoot out. Going out on a race tyre early in the final session, Kiyonari crashed unhurt at turn one on his first flying lap.
As Jakub Smrz took his first WSBK pole position, Kiyonari brought his Honda Genuine Accessories-backed CBR1000RR Fireblade back to the pits for sufficient repairs to complete a further four laps, but was unable to improve his position.
Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks… (P8, 1’36.884s)
"Before the start of the first Superpole session, we changed the setting a little bit but, as soon as I went out I knew it was not right so came straight back in. It cost us a bit of time and put the time under a bit of pressure but I made it through to Superpole 2 – only just! In Superpole 2, I used both my qualifiers to make sure I went through and I had a good feeling when I had to go back on the race tyre in the final session. I am a lot more comfortable than last year, and the bike feels a lot better, so I hope for dry weather tomorrow and two good results."
Ronald ten Kate Speaks… (Team Manager)
"Kiyo has shown really good pace all weekend but, unfortunately, the crash in Superpole stopped his charge forward. Second row is good enough for him, though, because we know that he can usually gain a few places in the race. As long as it’s either wet or dry tomorrow, he has pace enough for a good result."
2009 World Superbike championship, round eight – Misano, Italy
Final qualifying results:
1 Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1’35.435s
2 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 1’35.609s
3 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 1’35.631s
4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati 1’35.811s
5 Shane Byrne (GBR) Ducati 1’36.224s
6 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 1’36.277s
7 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 1.36.537s
8 Ryuichi Kiyonari (JPN) Ten Kate Honda Racing 1’36.884s