28 May 2006
Tough Home Race For Tunstall at Silverstone
Tom Tunstall's chances of scoring championship points at the British round
of the World Superbike Championship at Silverstone took a serious blow after
wet weather in qualifying wrecked his chances of success in the race. Despite
the big setback Tom was still able to show his 100% commitment by storming
through the field, passing 14 riders to finish in 22nd spot.
The opening day of qualifying was held in both wet and dry conditions making tyre choice and bike set-up crucial. The constantly changing weather also made it essential to be on the track at the right time before the conditions worsened and Tom was unable to achieve this and was left down in 36th place.
Overnight changes to the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR meant that Tom was confident of greatly improving his qualifying position but a fully wet track on Saturday made any chance of bettering his time and moving up the grid impossible and he remained in 36th spot for the race.
"Friday was a really difficult day and the combination of struggling with bike set-up and the damp track made it hard to show what we were really capable of. In the two wet sessions on Saturday the bike felt much better, I was able to push and straight away I was on the pace and I finished practice in 13th place." explained Tom.
The 28 lap race of the 2.2 mile Northamptonshire circuit got underway in bright conditions leaving the team the tough job of setting the bike up for the dry track. However the improvements made to the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR for the wet also proved to make the bike better in the dry and Tom was able to climb his way up the leader board with some truly committed riding.
"At the start it was like learning to ride a new bike again because it felt so different but I was determined to make the opening laps count and went absolutely flat out and passed about nine riders on the first lap. You never know what can happen in a race so I just pushed as hard as I could through every turn. I was having to find the limits of the bike set-up during the race whilst I was battling for position, which made things interesting, but I pushed hard and did as much as I could do having started so far back." said Tom.
"Its obviously a disappointing result and our expectations were much higher for the weekend, but on the plus side I feel that we learned a lot about the bike and should have a good direction to go in for the rest of the season." he continued.
Tom and the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport team are now planning to complete a test to fine tune their new set-up before heading to San Marino for the fifth round of the World Supersport Championship at Misano on 23rd to 25th June 2006.