Kiyonari relishes the chance to return to Superbikes action

Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Superbike rider Ryuichi Kiyonari has announced his 2016 racing plans - and he will be changing teams to ride for the Bennetts Suzuki team.

Kiyo, a popular rider amongst Horncastle fans following his time spent in the area, will team up with Tommy Bridewell in Martin Halsall’s British Superbike team and is determined to battle for a place in the showdown.

He is one of the most successful MCE BSB riders of all time, celebrating three titles and an incredible 50 race wins in the championship and is hungry for a new challenge next season.

The Japanese contender is relishing the switch to Suzuki, having claimed a podium finish for the manufacturer when he first experienced the GSX-R1000 at the prestigious Suzuka Eight Hour event this year.

Kiyonari said: “This is a new challenge for me – a new team, a different bike and I think this is what I needed for next year.

“I have spoken a lot with Martin (Halsall) and some of the team members and I am really excited for the first test, the first event and the first race.

“I have only raced a Suzuki at the Eight Hour and it was a good bike, so I am looking forward to our first test.

“The Suzuki is a really good package and the bike has similar characteristics to what I have raced with other manufactures in the past. “

Kiyo knows he will have to work hard to earn success but it is a challenge he is relishing ahead of next year.

“I know it won’t be easy because it never is, but the team is strong and we want to be on the podium and win races.

“I am training really hard here (in Japan) and when you have a bad year like last season it makes me more determined to change it.

“I want to come back and fight again. I think this change will help me to do that so I need to thank Martin and the team.

“Racing is my life and I am really happy to stay in BSB next season.”