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22 April 2006

Solid Progress for Tunstall in Valencia Qualifying

Tom Tunstall continued his good form in the hotly contested World Supersport championship in Valencia today to qualify in 24th place for Sundays race. Throughout the two practice and qualifying sessions around the 4.005Km Valencia circuit in Spain, Tom, riding the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR, slashed his lap time to improve his starting position and ended the day with a sixth row grid spot.

After testing at the Valencia circuit four weeks earlier, Tom and the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport team were unable to replicate their best lap times due to the ever changing grip levels of the Spanish track. Despite the tricky conditions Tom and the team worked hard to find a solution and in the final qualifying session made some significant changes to the bike which enabled them to utilise the grip of a new specification Pirelli rear tyre.

"It's been a bit of a frustrating weekend but in final qualifying we made some real progress and I feel happy with what we‚ve achieved even though the grid position isn't what I wanted," he said

"With the advice from the Ten Kate Honda team we changed the balance of the bike quite a lot and that helped us get some grip back. At the end of the session I did my best times despite being on a tyre that had done ten laps, which is promising for tomorrows race," explained Tom

"I'm still a little bit frustrated though, as when we tested here a few weeks ago I was 12th fastest and I was really hoping to continue that momentum into this weekend. Looking at the times I'm about a second off the guys in 15th place and it's obviously my aim to get in the top 15 and score some points. Valencia is a tough track to pass at and I think the difficulty will be getting up the front to start with, so I'm hoping for a good start and if I can do consistent lap times in the race we'll have a good chance to score more points," he continued.

Having scored championship points in the opening round of the World Championship in Qatar, Tom is focussed on another strong performance in Sundays‚ 23 lap race of the 4.005Km Spanish circuit, which will be televised live on British Eurosport.