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20 May 2007

Podium and Points for Tunstall

Superbike rookie Tom Tunstall tasted the champagne once more at the latest round of the British Superbike Championship but a tyre issue in the second race prevented the Yorkshireman making it two podiums on the day.

The latest round of the ever popular British Superbike Championships was held at the ultra fast Snetterton race track in Norfolk over the weekend and Hardinge Ice Valley racer Tom Tunstall was keen to turn his fortunes around after a run of bad luck, which had seen him fail to score points in the last four races.

Tom's progress in adapting to the high powered superbike machines was evident, as he topped the Superbike Cup times after the initial practice sessions.

In the single qualifying session the Huddersfield rider improved his times further with an average lap speed of 103.52mph, but was nudged back to fourth.

However, with the times being so close, he was very much in touch for the following day's races:
"It's been the first time I've started a race weekend with the bike feeling like mine. My confidence and the feedback I'm getting from the bike is strong. I'm not too bothered by the qualifying position as we're all close on race tyres."

In race one Tunstall held his position off the line, but despite lapping at a strong pace the three riders ahead managed to pull a gap giving Tunstall a fairly lonely race.

However, the battle ahead took its toll, with Tristan Palmer crashing out on the final lap promoting Tunstall to third place and back onto the podium.

"It's been good to taste the champagne again. After the last few races without a finish due to situations out of my control I was happy just to see the chequered flag. I got caught up with Dean Thomas and Chris Martin early in the race and the time I lost meant I missed the boat and couldn't get a tow on the back of the leading group."

In the second race Tom looked to be struggling from the off with his lap times over two seconds a lap slower.

At the end of lap four Tunstall pulled into the pits and the team quickly changed the rear tyre before he rejoined the field desperate to salvage any points he could.

Tunstall crossed the line in sixth and picked up ten points and third position in the championship standings.

Disappointed, Tunstall remarked, "Straight from the start I was struggling – it was dangerous, I had no grip at the rear. The back end was coming round on every corner. Initially I just thought the tyre didn't have enough heat in it. But I had to pull in before it threw me off. When the team swapped the tyre it was perfect again."

"Still I got it back in one piece and some more points, which is definitely better than the last few races."

The next round of the championship takes place across the Irish Sea at Mondello Park near Dublin on June 17th.