Kiyonari to leave HM Plant Honda
The most successful partnership in British Superbike history has come to an end after HM Plant Honda confirmed it is not re-signing three-time champion Ryuichi Kiyonari for 2012.
HM Plant Honda manager Havier Beltran has confirmed that Ryuichi Kiyonari will not ride for his team in 2012, bringing an end to a hugely successful relationship that yielded 43 race wins and three British Superbike titles.
Kiyonari, the most successful BSB rider in history, debuted for HM Plant Honda at BSB level in 2004, taking his first title in 2006, before repeating that feat once more in 2007.
A two-year stint in World Superbikes followed with Ten Kate Racing, Kiyonari winning three races in 2008 at Brands Hatch and Donington Park, but his form fluctuated in 2009, prompting a return to BSB in 2010, once more with HM Plant Honda.
Going on to win the title after succeeding in a three-way shotoout between himself, Josh Brookes and Tommy Hill, Kiyonari started amongst the favourites to make it four titles in 2011, but has struggled for consistency this year.
Ending the season in sixth, well behind the title contenders, Kiyonari is now considering his options after Beltran confirmed he won't be returning to his team in 2012.
"It has been a difficult season for Kiyo; with him the HM Plant Honda team has won three BSB titles and scored 43 race wins which makes him the most successful rider in BSB history.
"We want to thank Kiyo for the successes we have celebrated together over the years. He will always be part of the Honda family and we wish him all the best for the future, in whatever he decides to do, as he will not be returning to the HM Plant Honda team in 2012.