Buildbase BMW’s Ryuchici Kiyonari and Josh Waters make it two international winners as they spilt the winners trophies together at Brands Hatch, with the British summer-time weather creating drama giving us one dry and one wet race.
|Waters secured his first race win in the wet
Photo: MCE BSB
We had a dramatic start to race one with two warm up laps needed, after John Hopkins had a problem before the lights went out, which resulted in the race being shortened to 19 laps. It was the front three Kawasaki’s of Byrne, Walker and Ellison who led the way for the opening four laps with the Lloyds British GBmoto team-mates not letting Byrne break away. The three were closely followed by Kiyonari and Brookes.
Barry Burrell had a nasty crash on the WD40 machine, which meant the safety car was brought out half way through lap four. With the riders bunching up into a big group the safety car went in on the end of the sixth lap, allowing the riders to get back up to speed. Byrne was unable to shake off his fellow Kawasaki riders with Kiyo not far behind, and on the 14th of 19 laps the Japanese rider was able to hit the front with his Buildbase BMW following a close battle with Byrne and Ellison.
Byrne didn’t give up however and he soon retook the lead from Kiyonari, and the pair battled for the closing laps before Kiyonari put in the race winning move on the penultimate lap to take his second win in a fortnight.
With the threat of a storm looming, the second BSB race of the day got underway but came to a premature end following a massive crash for race leader Ellison on lap two, where he lost the rear of his Kawasaki. After one lap following the safety car, the race was red flagged when fuel was found on the track following Mainwaring’s crash at Westfield bend. Shortened to an 18 lap race, the riders lined up on the grid and the race was re-started although just three laps in the red flags were waved again, this time for rain. Re-entering the pits, riders and teams sat in the pits as the rain got heavier and the race was declared wet, across 15 laps.
As the lights go out for the third and final time, Byrne got a good start and lead the way, with Kiyonari running in second ahead of Easton and Walker. Race one winner Kiyonari seemed to adjust his fast pace over to the wet as he took the lead on second lap. However with a big group of five bunched up at the front, the Japanese rider soon lost his lead to Richard Cooper on the Anvil Hire TAG Racing Kawasaki on the third lap.
A double victory clearly wasn’t on the card for Kiyonari as he slipped down from first to ninth position over just one lap, and was then out of the race on the seventh lap of 15. Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Waters then took the lead and didn’t look back, creating a bigger gap from second position and finished 4.627s ahead of Richard Cooper.
Waters expressed his delight with his first BSB podium and victory: “Awesome, I definitely didn’t think I was going to win a race after the weekend or tough competition we have in BSB. Want to say a huge thank you to Tyco Suzuki, this is an awesome feeling. I was thinking ‘this is pretty cool’ once I got the lead, I was like ‘far out’! With about five to go I was holding the lead and thinking ‘they’re going to catch me’ but I kept hold of it”
Richard Cooper was pleased with his pace on the Anvil Hire Kawasaki, and hopes this is the start of him moving up the order: “I am confident in these conditions, you think ‘this is my chance’. Josh came by and to be fair he was fast on Friday morning in wet conditions and I just thought ride my race. It was a long race, my first season here and with the team, we’re making impressions and that’s what we need to do. We need to work our way up, there’s a long way to go yet.”
Despite struggling with rear grip, Farmer was able to secure his debut BSB podium: “We’ve struggled all weekend with rear grip and we had the same issue in the wet. As everyone knows I’m known to ride well in the wet, we adapted the bike to ride in the wet with the grip levels we had. We made a steady job and came through and came through in the end.”