BSB: Ellison takes pole as Showdown shakes up at soggy Assen

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James Ellison will start on pole for tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race after a treacherous qualifying session at Assen.

Constant rainfall all afternoon left the circuit sodden ahead of the three-stage qualifying session, leaving riders to deal with tricky conditions as they scrapped it out for pole.

There was drama from the off, with showdown contender Peter Hickman crashing out in Q1 and although he was able to re-mount and return to the session, he wouldn’t be able to do enough to progress to Q2.

The next big crasher was Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne, who suffered an enormous highside. He too was able to remount and get back to the pits, but would crash again on his out lap leaving him 16th on the grid for tomorrow.

It was a tough session for the title fighters as a whole, with just Leon Haslam out of the six Showdown contenders progressing into the final stage to fight for pole.


The JG Speedfit Kawasaki star left it late to snatch second on the grid behind McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison.

Christian Iddon joins the duo on the front row, knocking Oulton Park winner Dan Linfoot back to fourth ahead of young gun Bradley Ray and John Hopkins.

Josh Elliott, who managed to save an off in spectacular fashion in Q1, will start an impressive seventh place for Tyco BMW as he replaces the injured Andy Reid this weekend.

Sylvain Guintoli will start eighth ahead of Michael Laverty, who crashed out of the final qualifying session.

A wheel speed sensor issue halted Josh Brookes from progressing to Q3, leaving the Aussie 11th on the grid tomorrow with fellow Showdown contenders Jake Dixon and Jason O’Halloran in 12th and 15th respectively.  

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing