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SMITHS RACING END THE SEASON IN STYLE AT BRANDS HATCH

Smiths Racing BMW concluded their MCE British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch where it proved to be one of their best meetings of the year as Jakub Smrz and Ryuichi Kiyonari both scored points in all but one of the three races, with Kiyonari taking the best finish in seventh.

Having qualified in 12th and 21st respectively for the first 20-lap race held yesterday, the duo were hopeful of a good result but a combination of crashes and rain meant the race was stopped twice before being re-started for a third time over the shorter distance of 15 laps. Conditions were difficult throughout with a number of riders falling but the duo managed to keep upright with ‘Kuba’ taking the best finish of the two in tenth with ‘Kiyo’ in 14th.

Sunday again saw damp conditions around the 2.4-mile Kent circuit but a dry line had appeared by the time of the second race of the weekend, this time held over 20 laps, came under starters order. It was again Smrz who showed best and he ran inside the top ten for much of the race, but in the closing stages, he got pushed back to 11th whilst Kiyo came through to take the final championship point in 15th.

The Japanese rider had the fifth fastest lap of the race to give him a second row start for the final race of the season which gave him a great chance of ending his season with a strong result. A brilliant start elevated him up to third and he was still in this position on lap five when the race was stopped due to an oil spillage.   Re-started over 10 laps, the former three-times champion again ran in third place initially but by lap four he’d been pushed back to eighth before reclaiming seventh from Peter Hickman which matched his best result of the season. For team-mate Smrz though, it was an unhappy end to the season as he crashed out at Sheene Curve on lap four, fortunately without injury.

Jakub Smrz: “Obviously the last race wasn’t so good and I touched the engine casing on a kerb which caused me to crash. Up until that point we’d had a good weekend and the progress we’ve made since the beginning of the year has been massive. If we’d have started the year with the bike we’ve finished with, our results would have been a lot better. It’s been a really competitive season and the results haven’t been what any of us have wanted but it’s also been an enjoyable year and even at difficult times, the team have given 100%. I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone at Smiths Racing BMW so a big thank you to everyone.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari: “It’s been quite difficult swapping teams and manufacturer two thirds of the way through the season so it’s nice to finish with a good result. I struggled a bit in qualifying with the set-up of the bike but the team never stopped working for me and tried many changes. All the riders have been very fast this year but we showed our old form in the last race and it felt nice to be running at the front. Seventh wasn’t where I wanted to finish as I go racing to win but I’ve really enjoyed my time with the team and a big thank you to everyone at Smiths Racing BMW.”

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “It’s been a long season and we’ve definitely found ourselves up against it a lot of the times but the whole team never gave up and gave 100% throughout. Even when it got really difficult everyone gave their all so I must thank everyone for their hard work and effort. Kuba had two good rides this weekend so it was disappointing that he crashed in the last race whilst it was nice to see Kiyo running close to the front in race three. The season hasn’t quite gone to plan so we’ll regroup and look to come back stronger in 2017.”

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race one (15 laps)

1 Peter Hickman (Kawasaki)

2 Christian Iddon (BMW)

3 Glenn Irwin (Ducati)

4 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

5 Tommy Bridewell (Suzuki)

6 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

10 Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW)

14 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)

1 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

2 John Hopkins (Yamaha)

3 Peter Hickman (Kawasaki)

4 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

5 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

6 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

11 Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW)

15 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race three (10 laps)

1 James Ellison (Kawasaki)

2 John Hopkins (Yamaha)

3 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

4 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

5 Christian Iddon (BMW)

6 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

7 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Smiths Racing BMW)

DNF Jakub Smrz (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Final Championship Positions (after 12 rounds)

1 Byrne 669pts

2 Haslam 640

3 Ellison 610

4 Linfoot 602

5 O’Halloran 568

6 Mossey 550

17= Smrz 48

20 Kiyonari 42

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