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Josh Brookes has taken a clean sweep of the top spot in the free practice sessions at Assen after fending off title rival Byrne on a drying track.

The Milwaukee Yamaha rider left it as late as possible when track conditions were at its best to go quickest after the defending BSB champion briefly displaced him with the chequered flag waving. Buildbase BMW's Richard Cooper also profited from a late lap to jump into third ahead of John Hopkins, with Jakub Smrz rounding out the top five.

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In similar conditions to FP2 which saw the Assen circuit gradually dry out as the session wore on, only a small number of riders opted to test out the slippery surface in the opening stages.

Despite being over 13 seconds off the pace set by Brookes yesterday, Tommy Bridewell held top spot for the majority of the morning, closely followed by fellow Showdown contenders Michael Laverty and Dan Linfoot.

As FP3 ticked down into the final ten minutes Bennetts Suzuki Christian Iddon, who claimed pole position in mixed conditions at Assen last year, went fastest before being quickly displaced by Ellison. The pair began to trade top spot as a few more riders ventured out for quick qualifying style blasts.

With the majority of the BSB field out on track, Brookes took the opportunity to storm ahead at the top but was closely followed by Byrne. The PBM Kawasaki rider's 1m 39.571s lap provisionally gave him top spot but Brookes found a small gain on his final lap to go quicker by two-tenths.

Fellow Showdown contender Linfoot ended the session sixth quickest ahead of BSB veteran Chris Walker, as Lee Jackson, Ellison and Laverty completed the top ten. The last remaining title fighter Bridewell was in 11th.