Ryuichi Kiyonari proved that he is back and means business in the MCE British Superbike Championship at Knockhill, narrowly missing out on the double win when Shane 'Shakey' Byrne took advantage of a mistake from the triple title-winner to score the victory by 0.176s.
Byrne had made amends for a poor start in the first race to fire off the line into the lead at the start with Kiyonari giving chase ahead of Josh Brookes and Stuart Easton. The leading Milwaukee Yamaha rider then lost ground and Easton and then the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki of Chris Walker moved ahead, pushing Brookes back to fifth.
At the front Byrne was coming under increasing pressure from Kiyonari with the pair almost touching on several occasions before the Buildbase BMW made a decisive move down the inside at the Hairpin to hit the front of the pack. Byrne then switched roles and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider was shadowing his Japanese rival; Kiyonari initially held the advantage but then a mistake on the exit of the Hairpin saw him save a dramatic high-side which gave Byrne the opportunity he needed. Like a red rag to a ball Byrne launched himself back to the front, but with a gap of 0.8s to close a determined Kiyonari gave chase again.
As the laps counted down Kiyonari was edging closer with every circulation and as it came to the final lap he was back on the rear Pirelli of his rival Byrne. Left and then right Kiyonari looked for a way ahead, but despite his best efforts he finished second as the pair crossed the line inseparable.
Walker had been holding off the challenges from Brookes and despite a broken finger he lived up to his 'Old but Gold' slogan by claiming third, with Easton on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki completing the top five.
Dan Linfoot had another strong finish in sixth place on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki ahead of Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison who had fought his way through the field. Richard Cooper and Michael Rutter completed the top ten.
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.176s
Chris Walker (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +6.349s
Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +7.975s
Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +10.595s
Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +14.755s
Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +16.838s
James Ellison (Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki) +17.762s