HM Plant Honda Racing's Michael Rutter and Ryuichi Kiyonari will start
tomorrow's two 20-lap races from third and fourth positions respectively
at Donington Park. The front row grid positions are vital for the two
riders as they enter the penultimate round of the 13-event Bennetts
British Superbike Championship.
With their biggest title threat Gregorio Lavilla in pole position, both
Rutter and Kiyo are determined to get a good start to the races at the
Leicestershire track. The duo are confident about their chances in the
races after securing a double 1-2 finish aboard the HRC-supported
CBR1000RR Fireblades at last year's corresponding event.
Japanese rider Kiyonari has also been fastest in three of the four
sessions this weekend. With a narrow advantage of just one point over
Lavilla at the top of the championship standings, the 23-year-old is
firmly focussed on achieving his 13th victory of the season.
His 32-year-old team-mate was in second position after free practice and
first qualifying. With a deficit of just 37 points from the championship
leader, Midlander Rutter is definitely not yet out of contention for the
Michael Rutter: "Donington Park was a really good track for HM Plant
Honda Racing last year. Hopefully, we can repeat that performance again
this season. The CBR1000RR Fireblades and Michelin tyres are well suited
to Donington Park and we need to use that to our advantage.
"I'm happy to have qualified ahead of Kiyo because as always he is a
serious threat at this track, but it would have been better to have been
ahead of the Ducatis as well. That's something that we need to rectify
in the race - when it really counts."
Ryuichi Kiyonari: "I like Donington Park and we have got a good set-up
for the HM Plant Honda at this circuit. The Michelin tyres are working
well here too, so I'm hoping for two race wins tomorrow - just like last
"The Ducatis are very fast here though, so it will be difficult to beat
them. I'm expecting two more close races at the front of the field. The
most important thing is that I can bring home the factory Fireblade with
as many points as possible so that I'm still in a strong position for
the last round."
- 1. G. Lavilla (Ducati) 1:31.458
- 2. L. Haslam (Ducati) 1:31.662
- 3. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1:32.050
- 4. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1:32.117
- 5. G. Richards (Kawasaki) 1:32.290
- 6. J. Haydon (Suzuki) 1:32.342
- 7. J. Reynolds (Suzuki) 1:32.612
- 8. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) 1:32.804
- 9. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) 1:32.903
- 10. D. Hobbs (Yamaha) 1:32.911