Christian Iddon made a triumphant return to the MCE British Superbike series over the weekend at Assen, and ended up bagging his best ever finish on a Superbike, ending the opening BSB race in fifth for the Alstare Bimota Junior team.
The Stockport racer was competing in World Superbikes a few weeks ago for the Alstare team onboard the Bimota in the Evo class, but due to homologation rules the team were forced to withdraw from the championship.
Over the weekend he wildcarded for the Junior squad, with a view to helping to develop the BB3 machine and to aid young Frenchman, Christophe Ponsson.
The Bimota Alstare Junior team only received the BSB-spec wiring loom on Thursday afternoon, so they had their work cut out to get Iddon's BB3 ready for practice on Friday. BSB engine regulations differ slightly from those used in World Superbike Evo class, meaning that Iddon's stock engine was slightly down on power.
Saturday saw Iddon seal his maiden BSB pole position as he excelled in the changeable conditions. The former British Supermoto Champion has always felt more comfortable than most when the bike is sliding around, and he proved it once again.
In wet conditions in race one he crossed the line in a very creditable 5th position. But Unfortunately his second outing was short-lived. He was running in seventh when he lost the front on lap five. Thankfully he was able to walk away unscathed.
It is believed that Iddon will stay with the Alstare Bimota Junior team for the remaining two rounds of the BSB championing, with the possibility of him offered a ride wit the team next year.
"There was lots of work to do on Friday, getting everything dialled-in, but we just took it session by session. We had a crank sensor go down in FP2 which meant we were unable to make any progress with the bike but I was able to get some laps under my belt, which was good because I had not ridden for so long. Things picked up in FP3 and we finally got some good data and some work done," said Iddon.
"To secure pole position was absolutely incredible. It was one of those sessions where everything just works out. We progressed through the first session and then I managed to just get a lap in during the second session, which got me through to the final shootout.
“Conditions were changing every lap but the damp conditions certainly helped us as it masked some of the set up issues we had been having. It also meant I could actually relax a little more on the bike which was exactly what I needed.
"Race one was going really well. I allowed myself to get bedded in and was right on the leading group. The front group was all on wets on a drying track so I knew tyre conservation was important but then a little rain came down and it actually ruined the race for me.
“We had not had time to work on any throttle response electronic help which is so important in those conditions and, as a result, I had quite an aggressive power delivery for the greasy surface. It meant opening the throttle was almost impossible and it destroyed the rear tyre in just a handful of laps. I managed to hold on to fifth which was a decent finish but ultimately it cost us the chance of a podium and potentially fight for the win.
"I didn't quite have the pace in the dry, for race two. That said, I made up a good few places in the early laps but then unfortunately just tucked the front at turn ten. It was a shame because everything had been going well all weekend. Sometimes, that's racing.
"I want to say a massive thanks to the Alstare Junior team for having me over the Assen weekend. I enjoyed racing again so much and it was lovely to be riding in front of a passionate BSB crowd."