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23 September 2007

Tunstall Takes Pole and Podiums at Donington

Superbike rookie Tom Tunstall had his strongest weekend of the year so far at the penultimate British Superbike round of the year at Donington Park, taking pole position and yet another double podium in the British Superbike Cup.

The Hardinge Ice Valley backed rider was in top form throughout the weekend at the 2.5mile Leicestershire circuit and ended the practice and qualifying sessions on top ­ taking his maiden pole position in the Superbike Cup class. “I’ve got a really good feeling with the bike and obviously that’s shown with pole position… I want to keep the momentum going now and convert that into a win”.

As the 32 Superbike riders launched of the line for the first of the two 20 lap races Tunstall was in the thick of the action. After disposing of established Superbike riders such as John Kirkham and Dean Thomas in the opening laps, the Honda mounted rider was running in second place, which he held to the flag, taking his sixth podium in a row.

“I knew I had to be with the leader from the start if I was to be fighting for the win and I lost too much time passing riders, but we’ve got another race to have a go....”

In the second of the days outings Tunstall latched straight onto the back wheel of race one winner Tristan Palmer. Holding close to the current championship leader Tunstall looked good to claim his maiden Superbike win, matching Palmers times lap for lap.

However just short of half distance Aussie Dave Johnson passed the Yorkshireman. Tunstall struggled to regain his position allowing Palmer time to pull away.

After bringing his Hardinge Ice Valley machine back in second place Tunstall explained: “It was just a shame I got caught up with Johnson. When I was sat behind Palmer it felt easy and I was really up for fighting for the win. But it’s just fired me up for the last round even more. We’ve had our strongest weekend of the year with the pole and two solid second places, so I’m happy and looking forward to Brands [Hatch].”

The third podium double in a row now takes Tom up to third in the championship with the final round of this year’s series taking place at Brands Hatch in Kent over the weekend of October 12th-14th.