05 July 2009
Tough Weekend for Tunstall
The latest rounds of the British Superbike Championships were held north of the border at Knockhill in Scotland last Sunday, with Huddersfield superbike team Hardinge Doodson Motorsport taking his fourth podium in as many meetings.
Making a pleasant change, warm sunshine shone over the Fife circuit for much of the weekend however by the end of the qualifying and practice sessions Huddersfield racer Tom Tunstall was struggling to get the best from the tight and technical 1.27mile circuit.
Having claimed 4th place of the Superbike cup runners Tunstall was still looking for improvements; “I got to a reasonable lap time early in the weekend but we’ve struggled to make much progress from there. I’m working very hard on the bike and we’re still trying to find a set-up that allows me to run the pace I need. Although we’ve changed quite a lot it hasn’t shown in the lap times but we’ll keep pushing and working on it.”
The first of the days two 30-lap races proved to be a lonely affair for the Yorkshireman and once past former Japanese Superbike Champion Atsushi Wantanabe on lap 11, Tunstall graduated to 3rd place of the Cup riders after series leader Gary Mason crashed out on Lap 22, holding the position to the flag plus bagging more championship points with 13th place overall.
With changes to front fork setting, electronics set-up and rear tyre choice for race two Tunstall was still unable to ride to his usual standard and struggled to match the pace of his rivals. Despite a poor start Tunstall worked his way back up to 4th place by the chequered flag.
“The changes for race two unfortunately made the bike worse. The rear was coming around both into and out of corners more. It was still worth a shot as it’s important to understand the issues and the only way we can do that is to try different settings. It’s been a very frustrating weekend and it’s important to learn from the issues we’ve had."
“But even after a difficult weekend we’ve come away with another podium, a load of points, and a lot more experience so we can’t be too unhappy!”
With the season now at the half way stage Tunstall currently holds fourth place in the Mirror.co.uk British Superbike Cup Championship with only nine points separating him from third place.
The next round takes place at Mallory Park in Leicestershire on July 19th.