23 July 2006
Battling Tunstall Comes Good In Tough Brno Race
Tom Tunstall battled through a tough weekend at his first visit to the spectacular
Brno circuit in the Czech Republic to secure a hard fought 18th position in
the World Supersport race. Despite not securing any world championship points
this time out, the team remained satisfied with their performance and the pace
they had shown onboard the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR.
Tom arrived in Brno with no previous knowledge of the fast and undulating circuit,
but he and the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport team worked tirelessly to achieve
the optimum set-up for the Honda CBR 600RR throughout the two days of practice
and qualifying before the race. Unfortunately they were hampered by both technical
problems on the Honda CBR600RR and an untimely rain shower in the final qualifying
session which left Tom way down the grid in an uncharacteristic 35th place.
"It's always tough coming to a new track but we certainly made some good
progress. Between the Friday morning and the afternoon session I slashed 2.5
seconds off my lap time and then went out on Saturday morning and took another
second off. I was feeling confident for qualifying and after about four laps
I came in to fit a new tyre but when I went out on track the bike had developed
an engine problem so I had to come in and use my number two bike, which was
set-up a bit differently. By the time we got it working it had started to rain
so I had no chance to get myself higher up the grid for the race," explained
The 18 lap World Supersport race took place in scorching 34 degree temperatures
in front of a strong 41,000 crowd who got to witness a full day of seriously
exciting racing. Tom fired his Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR
off the start line well and dived up the inside going into the fast turn one.
This proved a wise move as a number of his Supersport rivals got tangled up
going through the corner and were forced out of the race. Tom quickly forgot
about the incident and began closing down the group of riders in front of him
posting some impressive lap times in the process. After battling with former
World Supersport champion and Superbike rider Stephane Chambon, he was soon
entangled in a hard battle with Russian rider Vladimir Ivanov. Tom eventually
won through to claim a well deserved 18th position, finishing less than five
seconds behind the final point scoring finisher.
"We were helped a little bit in terms of position after the first corner
crash, which I was lucky to avoid. It was my plan to go up the inside at the
first corner and although I managed to miss the crash it left me with a big
gap to bridge to the group of riders in front. I was battling with Stephane
Chambon but then I started dicing with Vladimir Ivanov and although we were
having a good fight, we were holding each other up and we started to lose ground.
In the end we started to real in the group in front but just ran out of laps
to get any higher up the field," said Tom.
"Our aim is to be in the points every weekend and we haven't quite been
able to manage that this weekend. On the positive side weâve made some
good progress with the bike, which should put us in good stead for our home
race at Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks time. Brands Hatch is a track I really
like and it will be nice to turn up at a track at least knowing which way it
goes," he continued.
The next race for Tom and the Hardinge - Ice Valley Motorsport team takes place
at Brands Hatch on 4th to 6th August 2006. Brands Hatch is the team's home event
and with in excess of 100,000 spectators expected throughout the weekend Tom
will be aiming to make a real impression and fight for championship points once