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15 June 2008

Another Podium for Tunstall

Photo courtesy of Paul Barton / MOTO-RACER.COM

Hardinge Ice Valley Superbike racer Tom Tunstall collected more silverware at the weekend with another podium at the Snetterton round of the British Superbike Championships.

With an average lap speed of 103.87mph, Tunstall qualified his Honda CBR1000RR in third position for the Superbike Cup races, although the Yorkshireman was a little frustrated at the rain shortened qualifying session.

"The session was going well, we'd improved the set up and on my first tyre I was only a tenth of a second off pole. When I came in to fit a new tyre Gary Mason and John Laverty pulled out half a second on me. By the time I got back out on track the rain had started. Still, wet or dry tomorrow I'm looking forward to it."

The first of the two 21lap races saw Tunstall denied his third podium in a row as Ducati mounted Leon Morris passed the Huddersfield based rider on the last lap.

"The bike bogged down off the line which we need to sort out. Anyway, I got back up to third but Leon’s 1200cc Ducati certainly had the speed advantage – I'd get right into his slip stream but his bike would just pull away. I got in front and tried to pull clear but he waited till the last lap and flew past on the straight, the straights are so long here there wasn’t much more I could do."

As pit lane opened for race two the clouds that had been building all afternoon opened, soaking the 1.95mile track.

With full wets fitted and a reduced race distance of 15 laps Tunstall ended lap one in third place. With 2nd place John Laverty in his sights Tom was soon embroiled in a battle with Morris once more.

By the chequered flag Tom had got the better of Morris and pulled clear, but with Laverty four seconds ahead had to settle for third.

"I was smarting after missing out on the podium in the first race, so I'm happy to be back on it now. The track had started to dry out and I was catching Laverty towards the end. If it had been a full length race I’m convinced I could have given him something to think about."

The results also saw Tom and the Hardinge Ice Valley Team climb to second in the Superbike Cup Championship.

The next round takes place at Mallory Park near Leicester on the 29th of June.

Photo courtesy of Dave Couldwell / MONOPICS

Photo courtesy of Dave Couldwell / MONOPICS

Photo courtesy of Dave Couldwell / MONOPICS