The British Superbike series closed its third year of Pirelli sole tyre supply with a dramatic finish at Oulton Park as Ryuichi Kiyonari overhauled long time points leader Tommy Hill for a deserved third British Championship title.

The three-race event gave riders additional pressure and opportunities with seventy-five points up for grabs, which gave Kiyonari chance to overturn Hill’s eleven point lead going into the finale. After following Kiyonari across the line in Saturday’s race one outing, Hill pushed too hard on Sunday crashing out and taking James Ellison with him. Tommy then remounted to have an even bigger accident, heavily damaging his Worx Suzuki GSXR1000 and giving his team a massive job to repair the machine for the third and final outing which they duly did. Meanwhile ‘Kiyo’s’ HM Plant Honda teammate Josh Brookes took advantage to challenge Kiyo in race three, giving him the Championship runner-up slot as Tommy bravely battled to fifth and a disconsolate third in the series. 

Michael Laverty finished the series a close fourth on his Relentless Suzuki by TAS but crashes at all three BSB Showdown events at Oulton, Silverstone and Croft, will be left ruing the final points lost. James Ellison proved himself to be right back on form as he led several times over the weekend and remained in the thick of it in all three races despite being on the receiving end of Hill’s first crash. His Swan Honda team-mate Stuart Easton also took a fantastic second in race two before succumbing to a technical issue in the final outing.

Race one saw Ellison take the holeshot and hold off the advances off Kiyonari and Hill for most of the race before ending up third at the Cumbrian’s ‘local’ circuit. This left Kiyo and Hill free for a titanic battle before the Japanese former BSB Champion eventually got the nod. Brookes, who struggled in qualifying ended lap one in eleventh and gradually picked off riders to finish fifth.
Race two was another fantastic battle as Laverty, Hill, Ellison and Kiyonari all traded the lead before Tommy outbraked both Kio and Ellison and lost control. He then crashed again after fluid leaked from his bike and with other bikes going down, a red flag was called. With Tommy unable to make the re-start, and his machine on fire, Kiyo led home Ellison and Brookes.
The final race of the day left Hill needing a win and Kiyo finishing way down the order but the Japanese ace powered to an insurmountable lead after taking both Laverty and Ellison. Brookes followed him across the line for a deserved HM Plant Honda 1-2 in the race as well as the championship.
Pirelli World Superbike hero Leon Haslam put on a great show for the crowd as he wheelied a Superstock BMW around the circuit to celebrate his move to the German marque.

In the Supersport class Ben Wilson took his Gearlink Kawasaki to a well-fought win from James Westmoreland (CAME Yamaha). Westmoreland broke his own 2009 lap record on the way to again prove the quality of the road-derived Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres.

Jason Griffiths, Pirelli Racing Manager commented, “It was a fantastic day’s racing for the massed spectators with real ‘edge of the seat’ drama. Congratulations to the whole HM Plant Honda squad as they reeled Tommy back for a championship 1-2 with Kiyo and Josh. You have to feel for Tommy after such a rollercoaster year but that is the nature of racing. Today again proved the performance and durability of the Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks and what a fitting finale to our three years of sole tyre supply. It’s been a pleasure to work in the World’s premier domestic race series and we look forward to future involvement.”

 

2010 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Final Championship standings:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 649
2. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 625
3. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 620
4.Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 604
5.Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) 559
6.Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 550

Oulton Park, Race One Result (Saturday):

1.       Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2.       Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki)+0.821s
3.       James Ellison (Swan Honda) +5.707s
4.       Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +8.459s
5.       Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +14.627s
6.       Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Quay Garage Honda) +15.001s

Race Two Result:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2. Stuart Easton (Swan Honda)
3. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda)
4. Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati)
5. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)
6. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki)

Race Three Result:

1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)
2. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.639s
3. James Ellison (Swan Honda) +4.531s
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +7.794s
5. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +9.355s
6. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +10.721s 

More information regarding Pirelli’s entire range of racing and road tyres can be found at www.pirelli.com.