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Honda boss 'confident' Kiyonari can improve



The Samsung Honda team manager has a lot on his mind...
The Samsung Honda team manager has a lot on his mind...

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Image by Double Red

Samsung Honda team boss Havier Beltran is confident both his Superbike riders, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Alex Lowes will do well at Oulton Park for the third round of the MCE British Superbike championship next week. The team has been busy testing at Knockhill, and Beltran hopes that Kiyonari in particular will be on the podium, something which has eluded the triple champ so far this season.

The Japanese rider’s best finish so far was fourth place in the second MCE British Superbike race at Brands Hatch. He is currently tenth in the overall championship standings with 21 points, and Beltran admits that his rider is not happy with his CBR1000RR Fireblade.

“Kiyo has said he is not happy and is not confident with things, if he is not happy with the machine he will not push as hard as we would like, or how other people would push. However when we know we have got the machine right for him we know how well he can do, and that he is capable of riding at the front. There were a lot of changes that went on with the bike at Knockhill, like the suspension on the bike, which should help him do well at Oulton Park, and we all know how well Kiyo can perform on a Honda and at Oulton,” said Beltran, speaking to Bikesportnews.com.

Kiyonari’s team-mate Lowes has had a solid start to the season and has managed to make it on to the podium at every BSB race so far, and is second overall in the standings behind reigning champion Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne.

But it is not just the BSB championship that Beltran is watching closely, he is also monitoring his Motorpoint British Supersport rider, Jason O’Halloran. The Australian made the step up into the Supersport class after finishing second in the British Superstock 1000 championship with Samsung Honda last year, and Beltran is confident that the Aussie can improve on his recent form for the rest of the season.

“Alex has adapted to the bike really well, and is working well with the team. With Jason we have learnt a bit from Thruxton and Brands Hatch, and we know where we need to be, and we have all that to put together and he is going well.”

Beltran is under no illusions of how tough both the Supersport and Superbike classes are going to be throughout the season, but wants to see all his riders reaching the podium at Oulton Park.

“I would love to see all my riders on podiums next week. In the Supersport championship there are half a dozen riders that are capable of winning races, and lets not forget that it is going to be a very close championship.

“In the BSB, there are four to six riders who are capable of winning races. There is Byrne, Brookes and Ellison who are all capable of winning, and I think the championship is going to be tight. I think some of the experienced riders have a lot of history on the tracks which helps them, like Shakey who is phenomenal at Brands. But Alex has stepped up and is more confident and is capable of winning more races too.”


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