Three times BSB winner Ryuichi Kiyonari has confirmed his plans for 2014, in a move to Buildbase BMW. Here’s the official line from the team press release.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, three-time BSB Champion, has signed with the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team to ride the BMW S 1000 RR in the 2014 British Superbike Championship.
The 31-year-old rider from Saitama, Japan, is one of the most experienced racers in the BSB Championship. With 43 BSB race wins and three championships under his belt, Kiyonari has built a huge and loyal British fanbase who have followed his career through BSB, World Superbikes and MotoGP.
Kiyo won the British Superbike Championship in 2006, 2007 and again in 2010. He has won races in World Superbikes and has won the gruelling Suzuka Eight-Hour endurance race four times.
Kiyo joins the team alongside James Westmoreland, who has re-signed for 2014. The Buildbase BMW Motorrad team, a partnership between BMW Motorrad UK and Hawk Racing, enjoyed their most successful year ever in BSB during 2013 and will be building on this success in 2014. The 2013 season saw James Westmoreland break records with the first-ever BMW pole position, going on to finish fifth in the championship.
Ryuichi Kiyonari said: “I am very excited to be racing with the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team next year. I have seen how competitive the BMW S 1000 RR is, and I think that we can make 2014 the year that it starts to rule the British Superbike Championship”.
“Stuart Hicken and the team have been very welcoming and the atmosphere is hugely supportive and optimistic. We are all looking forward to our first test on the BMW S 1000 RR and the start of the 2014 series in March.”
Stuart Hicken, Buildbase BMW Motorrad team owner, said: “It’s an absolute joy to be able to announce that Kiyo is joining us for the 2014 season. He is one of the most successful BSB racers of all time, and he has a huge wealth of experience at every level of racing. Both Kiyo and the team will be pushing each other on to even more success in 2014”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Westmoreland will be riding the BMW S 1000 RR in the British Superbike Championship. Lee Jackson will once again ride the BMW HP4 in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
So, you might be staring at the screen, screaming about the lack of performance from Kiyo last season, but if he’s happy with the bike and the team that surround him, he’ll be a race winning threat to everyone next year. If you’re struggling to remember his form, now is as good a time as any to show that Donington wet lap on the Ten Kate Fireblade in WSB….Kiyo wet weather riding Donington