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23 April 2006

Hard Charging Tunstall Secures Points in Valencia Race

Tom Tunstall achieved his goal of securing more championship points in the third round of the World Supersport Championship in Valencia with a brilliant riding display that saw him go from 24th place on the grid to 15th place in the race. On board the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR, Tom was unfazed by the level of competition in the highly regarded championship and fought lap after lap to secure his second point-scoring finish in three attempts.

With ever changing weather conditions typifying the Valencia race weekend, Tom and the team worked flat out to gain the optimum set-up for the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR. The key to Tom's success was down to a brilliant start followed up by a committed first lap that immediately saw him gain a handful of positions and move him in to a point scoring finish.

From there, Tom set an impressive pace and fought hard with Norwegian rider Kai Anderson and American Kenny Noyes but, whilst Noyes crashed out, Tom kept his composure before becoming embroiled in a tough battle with Sebastian Le Grelle for the last of the championship points.

"I made an absolutely mega start and gained a load of places into the first corner. Because of my position on the grid I was on the inside line going in and as a result I didn‚t get the best drive to turn two and actually lost a couple of places. In the opening laps the bike felt great and I was able to do some really good times, but after about five laps my tyres started to wear and I was unable to push as hard because the rear was starting to slide too much," explained Tom

"I had some tough battles with Anderson and Noyes, but when I lost the side grip from the rear tyre it was difficult to stay with them because as soon as I touched the throttle the rear started to slide. With about 12 laps to go Le Grelle came past, he clearly had more grip than me on the exit of the corners but I was definitely faster going in to and through the turns, but I just couldn't find a way past," he said.

"All in all I'm happy with the weekend. We came here for points and that's what we got and I feel that as a team we've learned a lot, which is important. There are still some areas in which we can improve, but for a new team, we're working well. Now I'll be aiming to continue the momentum next time out at Monza," he continued.

The World Supersport Championship now heads to the ultra fast and spectacular Monza circuit in Northern Italy where Tom and the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport team will be aiming to build on their strong opening results and secure more championship points.