Iddon leads off at Assen
Showdown spoiler Christian Iddon kicked off the Assen round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship by forging his way ahead of leading title contenders Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Leon Haslam in the opening free practice sessions at the legendary circuit.
At the start of the session Haslam hit the top of the times, before a brief red flag interruption when Tommy Bridewell crashed his Bennetts Suzuki at turn one. When the session resumed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ was leading Byrne, Luke Mossey and the fastest rider this morning, Dan Linfoot.
The positions were constantly shuffling and the Title Fighters continued to close in at the top with James Ellison leaping into the top five with just 15 minutes remaining of the session, leaving just the Honda Racing pairing outside, as Linfoot held sixth and O’Halloran was running 12th.
An intense final ten minutes saw another shake up as the contenders headed out for their last run of the session with Haslam still holding the advantage from Byrne by 0.307s. Iddon was pushing on the Tyco BMW and with three minutes left he fired his way to the top, moving narrowly ahead of Haslam on the leading JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
As the final five minutes approached, O’Halloran was the only Title Fighter to be outside the top ten and still running 12th fastest. Jakub Smrz was also on the move, pushing into the top five on the Smiths Racing BMW.
When the chequered flag fell Iddon maintained his advantage from Title Fighters Byrne, Haslam and Mossey with Smrz and the ePayMe Yamaha of Broc Parkes splitting the title contenders. Ellison was seventh fastest on the second JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead of Linfoot on the leading Honda Racing Fireblade.
Richard Cooper onboard the Buildbase BMW split the Honda Racing pairing, with Bridewell and John Hopkins just outside the top ten. The top twelve riders separated by just 0.974s ahead of tomorrow’s Datatag Qualifying session.