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Team #suzuki Press Office – June 25.
Bennetts #suzuki had a tricky qualifying session at Knockhill in Scotland, with tight lap-times and changeable weather conditions hampering preparations for tomorrow’s races and round four of the #mcebritishsuperbikechampionship.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, returning to action for the first time since breaking his collarbone at the previous round, spent much of Friday practice finding his feet and ensuring he felt comfortable on his GSX-R1000. After two solid sessions, he set the second fastest time in FP3.
He progressed comfortably from Q1, but a sudden rain shower saw the second qualifying session red-flagged and delayed on safety grounds. Kiyonari started strongly when the session resumed, but unfortunately couldn’t hang on to his position in the top nine, and finished the session 14th.
“My collarbone isn’t too bad. It’s a bit sore, but I’m okay when I’m riding. My feeling on the bike is good. Not quite as good as at Brands Hatch. This circuit has a lot of undulations, so we have had to change in areas and we haven’t found a perfect set-up yet. But my feeling was good, in the dry more than the wet, and we have improved in every session. For sure I think my race pace is a lot better than our qualifying position. There are a few corners where I’m losing a little bit, but overall I’m confident for tomorrow and I’m ready to race.”
Tommy Bridewell endured a difficult day, struggling to find a comfortable set-up on his GSX-R1000 for the undulating and finicky Knockhill circuit. He will start tomorrow’s opening race from 20th on the grid.
“It’s been a tricky weekend so far, and we’re not sure why. We’ve come from Brands with a good feeling and obviously we were on the podium, and then a good test at Snetterton where we were strong. It’s difficult, but the whole team is working hard to try and fix our issues and find a solution, and we’ll keep working tonight to see if we can get it sorted as 20th on the grid is the opposite of where I need to be. But I’m sure we can find something with the bike and if we can get it right we can move forward tomorrow. It’s going to require some fairly hard moves and I probably won’t make many friends, but we’re here to race and get results.”
Martin Halsall - Team Owner:
“Unfortunately it’s not running as smoothly as we’d like this weekend and we’re struggling a little bit. Kiyo’s shown some pace and I think his grid position doesn’t accurately reflect the pace he’s shown. He’s nursed his collarbone a little so far this weekend too, but he’s also shown that he’s still committed and riding hard, and I think we’ll see more from him in the races tomorrow.
“On Tommy’s side of the garage we’re struggling to find a set-up that suits him around Knockhill. It’s tricky here, it’s quite an undulating circuit, lots of off-camber sections, and at the moment we can’t quite get him comfortable. But everyone in the team is still working hard. We’ll go through the data from today and come up with a plan for warm-up, and hopefully we’ll find something that can get him up to where we need to be in the races.”
Knockhill Qualifying Result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Jason O’Halloran, 3. Leon Haslam, 4. Peter Hickman, 5. Glenn Irwin. 14. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts #suzuki GSX-R1000). 20. #tommybridewell (Bennetts #suzuki GSX-R1000).
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