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Shane Byrne has blitzed his MCE British Superbike rivals with a phenomenal pole position lap time to set a new record at Assen.
The current BSB championship leader set a useful benchmark on his opening flyer before easing off to give himself space in the Q3 session, which was forced by the threat of rain that ruled out the Superpole format, to set a BSB lap record with a 1m 35.724s – a time which would have put him second on the grid when World Superbikes visited the Dutch track in April.
With a blistering lap to beat, James Ellison acted as Byrne's closest rival but was a considerable 0.589s off the four-time BSB champion.
Ellison's JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam has completed the front row trio a fraction off but held on to third by just 0.003s from Quattro Plant Kawasaki's Luke Mossey.
Honda's Jason O'Halloran rose to fifth with his final flyer after his team-mate Dan Linfoot crashed out midway through Q3. Richard Cooper placed his Buildbase BMW seventh on the grid to act as the highest non-Showdown rider – with all six Showdown competitors taking up the front two rows.
ePayMe Yamaha's Broc Parkes made a positive return from Endurance World Championship duty with eighth on the grid as Christian Iddon had to settle for ninth after tipping off early in the pole shootout.