Assen BSB: Iddon takes surprise pole
The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown continued dramatically at Assen as Title Fighters Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari crashed out of Datatag Extreme Qualifying, but it was delight for the Alstare Bimota Junior team who claimed a historic first pole position with Christian Iddon.
Kiyonari had led the dry track sessions, but as conditions began to change Byrne high-sided himself into the gravel, ending his hopes of a front row start and he lines up in twelfth on the grid for the opening race. Kiyonari then equalled his rival by crashing out in Q3 after a strong lap moved him second, but he later dropped down the order to head the second row in fourth.
Iddon meanwhile mastered the changeable conditions and stunned the Title Fighters with a determined ride to score his first pole position in the Championship.
“I am pleasantly surprised as I was not expecting this,” said Iddon. “We had been working hard to set the bike for the dry and we are not quite there, but in these conditions it was a case of going out and enjoying it. We will have to see what improvements we can make now tomorrow to try and get in the mix with the leading guys.”
American former MotoGP rider John Hopkins starts his Tyco Suzuki alongside Iddon on the front row with Tommy Bridewell, the top qualifier among the six Title Fighters, completing the front row on his Milwaukee Yamaha.
Kiyonari starts ahead of Dan Linfoot on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki with Aussie Josh Brookes completing a second row locked out by Title Fighters.
Jon Kirkham heads up the third row ahead of Title Fighter Chris Walker on the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki and Martin Jessopp in a top ten that featured five different manufacturers.