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Wildcard rider Christian Iddon capitalised on the wet conditions during final qualifying for the opening Showdown round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Assen to seal pole.

The Alstare Bimota Junior team rider had impressed earlier in the day in the dry as he ended FP3 tenth fastest, but Iddon caused a sensation by taking the top spot for Sunday's opening race in The Netherlands during a dramatic afternoon that saw Title Fighters Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne crash out.

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Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Byrne went down in Q2 and qualified in 12th position on row four, with Kiyonari off in Q3, although the Buildbase BMW rider had set a fast enough time to seal fourth place on the second row.

Rain began to fall during Q2 but the showers worsened ahead of Q3, when the decision was taken to extend the session to 20 minutes to enable riders to gain some track time on wet tyres.

Stockport rider Iddon's best lap of 1m 52.261s in Q3 put him ahead of Tyco Suzuki's John Hopkins, who was only a tenth of a second in arrears.

Milwaukee Yamaha's Tommy Bridewell clinched the final place on the front row with a time of 1m 52.672s.

Showdown contender Dan Linfoot slotted into fifth place behind Kiyonari on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki, while Josh Brookes ended the day in sixth on the second of the Milwaukee Yamaha machines.

Row three is completed by Jon Kirkham (Halsall Kawasaki), Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Chris Walkers and Yeovil man Martin Jessop, who progressed to Q3 on the Riders Motorcycles BMW to earn his best start of the season.

RAF Reserves Honda rider Peter Hickman - who crashed in Q2 - dropped down the times to 10th place after an excellent effort placed the big Louth man top in Q2.

James Westmoreland on the Buildbase BMW was 11th fastest ahead of Byrne, who will have his hands full from row four in Sunday's first race.

Stuart Easton, Byrne, James Ellison and Josh Waters all failed to seal a place in Q3, with Hickman topping the Q2 times from Brookes and Linfoot.

In Q1, Anvil Hire Tag Racing's Kevin Valk came off and the red flags were deployed as a result with around 10 minutes remaining as Kiyonari led the way from Byrne and Linfoot.

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Hats off to Christian, it is a significant achievement.
But what I can't understand is why Bimota has been allowed to race in BSB. Aren't there homologation rules in BSB too, or are you just allowed to rock up with whatever you fancy and race?

GuzziHero:
LeisuresuitLarry: Hats off to Christian, it is a significant achievement.
But what I can't understand is why Bimota has been allowed to race in BSB. Aren't there homologation rules in BSB too, or are you just allowed to rock up with whatever you fancy and race?[\blockquote]
I'm not sure. All i could find were:
www.msvracing.com media 353695 mcrcb 2014 gb6 bimota bsb.pdf
www.msvracing.com media 368640 mcrcb 2014 gb8 bimota.pdf
.[\blockquote]

Thanks GuzziHero. Looks like you are right - I couldn't find anything within the rules about a minimum number of manufactured bikes. Seems strange because what is to stop any manufacturer making a run of four 'specials' and simply racing them? Or Ducati chosing to race the Superleggera? Seems odd.