Ryuichi Kiyonari

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Ryuichi Kiyonari
BSB 2014 and Kiyonari cropped.jpg
Kiyonari in Buildbase BMW colours acknowledging spectators' plaudits at Brands Hatch Showdown podium, end of BSB season 2014
Nationality Japanese
Born (1982-09-23) September 23, 1982 (age 34)
Saitama, Japan
Current team MORIWAKI Racing
Bike number TBA
Motorcycle racing career statistics
British Superbike Championship
Active years 2004 - 2008 , 2010-2014
Manufacturers Honda, BMW, Suzuki
Championships 3
2015 championship position 18th (32pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
239 50 97 33 38 1509

Ryuichi Kiyonari (清成龍一?) (born September 23, 1982, in Saitama, Japan) is a professional motorcycle road racer. In 2017, he will ride a Honda CBR1000RR in the MFJ All-Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship. He is the 2006, 2007 and 2010 British Superbike champion and enjoys particular fame and popularity amongst British motorcycle race fans due to his success and genuine personality. He raced for Honda Asia in 2012.[1] He also won the 2008 Suzuka 8-Hour race, teamed with his former WSBK team-mate Carlos Checa. He has a reputation for being at his best when leading races from the front.

Early years[edit]

Kiyonari first raced in 1988 in motocross, which he later stated that he did not especially enjoy. He began circuit racing in 1996, and first raced in the All-Japan 125cc Championship in 1998. He continued in this class until 1999 and spent the 2000 and 2001 season in the All-Japan 250cc Championship, with a shortage of big results, other than 9th place in the 2000 Suzuka 8 Hours race. However, for 2002 he switched to the All-Japan ST600 championship, which he won with four victories. He also took an All-Japan Superbike Championship victory at TI Aida.

MotoGP[edit]

He moved to MotoGP in early 2003 to replace the late Daijiro Kato in Fausto Gresini's Telefónica Movistar team. However, he received little support within the team, especially as team-mate Sete Gibernau challenged for the title, and failed to score much in the way of results. There were eight minor points finishes, leaving him 20th overall with a best of 11th.

By season[edit]

Season Class Moto Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2003 MotoGP RC211V Telefonica Gresini Honda 13 0 0 0 0 22 20  –
Total 13 0 0 0 0 0 0

British Superbike Championship[edit]

After coming 6th overall in the British Superbike Championship in 2004, 'Kiyo' won the first four races of 2005, before injuring his ankle in a heavy crash in round 5. He was back for round 9, and retook the championship lead from team-mate Michael Rutter, but eventually was overhauled by the improving Ducati of Lavilla and he finished the season runner up. He also raced in the Valencia Grand Prix for Sito Pons' Camel Honda team, finishing in the points.

In 2006 Ducati again had the upper hand early in the season, with Kiyonari closest to their riders, Lavilla and Leon Haslam. A double victory at Silverstone in the penultimate round kept him in close contention for the title. However, in the double point final round at Brands Hatch, after a win in race one (he was leading when Shane Byrne's heavy crash caused a stoppage - much to Haslam's visible frustration), Kiyonari only needed to finish third in the final race. Kiyonari finished 2nd in the shortened race behind Haslam, thus winning the championship by 8 points.

Kiyonari in 2007

The 2007 season started at Brands Hatch, a track Kiyo admits he does not like, and his results there were unspectacular, with Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier performing better on their Hondas. However, he took a double win in round three, and a further win in race 2 at Oulton Park, to lie second to Lavilla after four rounds. Finally defended his British champion status at Brands Hatch to win the championship for the second time in succession.

Superbike World Championship[edit]

In 2008 Ryuichi Kiyonari made his Superbike World Championship debut, having reached an agreement with the reigning champion team Ten Kate Honda, to partner Carlos Checa and Kenan Sofuoğlu.

In the second race at Monza, Kiyonari nearly had his first SBK win. Kiyonari was in front as they braked for the final entry into the Parabolica but went wide on the exit and Noriyuki Haga and Max Neukirchner edged him out - Haga for the win and Neukirchner claiming second by a gap of just .009. Kiyonari finished third with a gap of .051, his first Superbike podium. His first two wins came at Brands Hatch, beating Troy Bayliss in race 1 and Noriyuki Haga in race 2. He briefly led the very next race at Donington Park, but fell on lap 2. However, he did win the second race in very wet conditions, visibly sliding the rear end of his bike on many occasions. Kiyonari broke his collarbone in a testing crash at Magny Cours, 2 weeks prior to the event, meaning he missed the race.

For 2009, Kiyo stayed with the Ten Kate Honda team, partnering Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea. His bike was backed by Honda Europe rather than Hannspree. After a somewhat unsuccessful season, he finished 11th in the championship standings.

Return to British Superbikes[edit]

In September 2009, Kiyonari returned to British Superbikes to make a wildcard appearance at Croft Circuit, replacing the injured Glen Richards.[2] He finished fourth in race one before finishing race two in 18th position.

In December 2009, he was confirmed as one of HM Plant Honda's riders for the 2010 British Superbike Championship season,[3] partnering Australian rider Josh Brookes. At Cadwell Park he won race one but retired from race two before it began, due to a technical problem on the warm-up lap.[4] He scored a double win at Mallory Park, lifting him to fourth overall in the standings.[5]

2011 saw Kiyonari stay with HM Plant Honda in the British Superbike Championship, alongside two time BSB Champion Shane Byrne. He finished 6th overall.[6]

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship[edit]

For the 2012 season, Kiyonari headed to Asia, spearheading Malaysian team Boon Siew Honda Malaysia Racing as they aspire to lift the FIM Asian SuperSports 600cc trophy. He went on to win the 2012 Asia Road Racing Championship title.

Return again to the British Superbike Championship[edit]

In 2013 Kiyonari once again returned to the BSB, racing with his old team Samsung Honda. He finished 6th overall.

In December 2013, his management agency, Speed of Japan announced that Kiyonari would be racing with Buildbase BMW in the BSB in 2014. This news shocked many fans and others in racing as some thought that Kiyonari would never move away from Honda. Kiyonari's move to BMW was his first ever race with a manufacturer other than Honda, followed in 2016 by a switch to Suzuki.

FIM World Endurance Championship Suzuka 8 Hours[edit]

One of the most prestigious race for Japanese riders, Kiyonari has 4 wins to his name at the Suzuka 8 Hours. He is the rider with most wins that is currently still active.

Career Statistics[edit]

1998- 26th, All Japan Road Race GP125 Championship #90 Honda RS125R
1999- 23rd, All Japan Road Race GP125 Championship #26 Honda RS125R
2000- 20th, All Japan Road Race GP250 Championship #111 Honda RS250R
2001- 16th, All Japan Road Race GP250 Championship #100 Honda RS250R
2002- 1st, All Japan Road Race ST600 Championship #54 Honda CBR600RR
2003- 20th, MotoGP #23 Honda RC211V
2004- 6th, British Superbike Championship #23 Honda CBR1000RR
2005- 2nd, British Superbike Championship #6 Honda CBR1000RR
2006- 1st, British Superbike Championship #2 Honda CBR1000RR
2007- 1st, British Superbike Championship #1 Honda CBR1000RR
2008- 9th, Superbike World Championship #23 Honda CBR1000RR
2009- 11th, Superbike World Championship #9 Honda CBR1000RR
2010- 1st, British Superbike Championship #8 Honda CBR1000RR
2011- 6th, British Superbike Championship #1 Honda CBR1000RR
2012- 1st, Asia Road Race SS600 Championship #23 Honda CBR600RR
2013- 6th, British Superbike Championship #23 Honda CBR1000RR
2014- 2nd, British Superbike Championship #23 BMW S1000RR
2015- 20th, British Superbike Championship #23 BMW S1000RR
2016- 20th, British Superbike Championship #23 Suzuki GSX-R1000/BMW S1000RR
2017- All Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship #TBA Honda CBR1000RR

Supersport World Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
2003 Honda SPA AUS JPN
2
ITA GER GBR SMR GBR NED ITA FRA 21st 20

Grand Prix motorcycle racing[edit]

Races by year[edit]

(key)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pos. Pts
2003 MotoGP Honda JPN RSA SPA FRA
13
ITA
13
CAT
11
NED
17
GBR
14
GER
18
CZE
15
POR
16
BRA
15
PAC
11
MAL
21
AUS
19
VAL
14
20th 22
2005 MotoGP Honda SPA POR CHN FRA ITA CAT NED USA GBR GER CZE JPN MAL QAT AUS TUR VAL
12
25th 4

Superbike World Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos. Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2008 Honda QAT
22
QAT
19
AUS
9
AUS
6
SPA
Ret
SPA
4
NED
7
NED
Ret
ITA
6
ITA
3
USA
10
USA
7
GER
12
GER
11
SMR
14
SMR
13
CZE
5
CZE
6
GBR
1
GBR
1
EUR
Ret
EUR
1
ITA
Ret
ITA
13
FRA FRA POR
8
POR
11
9th 206
2009 Honda AUS
Ret
AUS
23
QAT
8
QAT
4
SPA
12
SPA
9
NED
15
NED
Ret
ITA
3
ITA
3
RSA
12
RSA
13
USA
4
USA
5
SMR
Ret
SMR
14
GBR
10
GBR
7
CZE
13
CZE
13
GER
14
GER
7
ITA
5
ITA
17
FRA
Ret
FRA
DNS
POR
DNS
POR
DNS
11th 141
2010 Honda AUS AUS POR POR SPA SPA NED NED ITA ITA RSA RSA USA USA SMR SMR CZE CZE GBR
21
GBR
16
GER GER ITA ITA FRA FRA NC 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kiyonari to race for Honda Asia". BSN. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  2. ^ "Kiyonari makes BSB return". Insidebikes. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  3. ^ "Kiyonari confirmed by HM Plant Honda". Insidebikes. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  4. ^ "Brookes ensures HM Plant double". crash.net. Crash Media Group. 2010-05-23. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  5. ^ "Kiyonari double lifts him into contention". crash.net. Crash Media Group. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  6. ^ "BSB final standings 2011" (PDF). Motorsportvision. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 

External links[edit]