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06 August 2006

Top Twenty For Tunstall at Brands Hatch

Tom Tunstall put in a strong weekend performance in the eighth round of the World Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch to secure 20th place in front of an impressive weekend crowd of over 115,000 spectators. Riding the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR, Tom was in good form throughout the three day event, posting his fastest ever lap around the spectacular Brands Hatch and gaining good crowd support as one of only a few British riders competing in the tough championship.

Qualifying for the scheduled 23 lap race went well for the team and although Tom was slightly disappointed with his grid position of 23rd, he remained confident in his race pace. Unlike many of his rivals, he was able to put in runs of consistently quick lap times as opposed to a one off quick lap.

With the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport team and bike working well, Tom approached the race, confident that he could secure more world championship points and finish in the top 15. A good start and determined riding in the opening laps soon propelled Tom into the top twenty, but then the Huddersfield rider became involved in a tough battle for position which ruined his rhythm. In the closing stages, Tom made a committed pass at the Druids hairpin on Spaniard David Checa and had a hard fight with former World Endurance Champion Mathew Lagrive that went right down to the wire on the final lap.

"The weekend was good and I feel that I rode well, but I'm gutted with the actual result. Brands Hatch is our home race and I put myself under pressure to score some points. I felt confident for the race because I was able to do consistent times in qualifying, but for some reason we weren't able to replicate them on race day. I was having grip problems with the front tyre, which is frustrating because otherwise I think we definitely had the pace and the bike set-up to get some points today."

"The race itself was actually good and it was amazing to be racing in front of so many spectators. The level of riders we're having to battle against is high and I spent the race fighting with European Supersport and World Endurance Champions. It's positive that we're on the pace and running with these guys but I wanted to be higher up this weekend."

The World Supersport Championship now enters a four week summer break with the next round of the championship taking place in Assen, The Netherlands on 1st to 3rd September 2006.

Tom and the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport team have previously raced at the historic Assen track, but will have to re learn parts of the track after recent revisions to the circuit were made by the track owners.