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Kiyonari admits to nerves before Asia series debut

British Superbike legend Ryuichi Kiyonari admitted to a bout of nerves for his debut in the 2012 Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship.

Seventh fastest during the first free practice, Kiyonari made drastic improvement when he checked in at 4th fastest in the second free practice. "I was feeling a little nervous yesterday (Friday) morning.

"It was a new environment for me and I had no knowledge of my rivals' racing styles. Furthermore, the realization that I was racing for a strong team made me put even more pressure on to myself. But by the afternoon session, the nerves were gone and I started to enjoy myself out on the track," he said.


Rain early in the afternoon just prior to the start of qualifying in the SuperSports 600cc category effectively changed the playing field. Just like how class leader Katsuaki Fujiwara waited until the final 20 minutes before going out on track, Kiyo waited for the final 10 minutes. However, Fujiwara still managed to qualify for pole position with a time of 1:06.035 whilst Ryuichi Kiyonari was 4th fastest with 1:06.676, missing out on the front row by 0.378 seconds.

"I'm not happy with my laptime. I waited for the last 10 minutes to go out because the track condition was not good. Furthermore, my tyres were already at their limit. However, I have to make do with what I have. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for me," he said.

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