13 September 2009
Work in progress for Tunstall
Despite a brace of fourth place finishes at the latest British Superbike Cup event Hardinge Doodson Motorsport racer Tom Tunstall has vowed to leave no stone unturned to find extra pace and get back onto the Cup podium.
The illustrious British Superbike Championship visited Tom’s home county of Yorkshire over the weekend with Croft staging the 10th of the 12 round series.
The Hardinge Doodson Motorsport Team worked hard throughout the practice sessions to optimise their Honda CBR1000RR to suit the demanding and bumpy 2.12mile circuit. Changes to the geometry and set-up of the bike before qualifying reaped rewards with Tom lapping almost a second a lap faster to Qualify 4th of the Cup contenders: “The changes for qualifying really helped make the bike more stable, easier to ride and I felt I was fighting it less. We’re going to try a few more things in tomorrow’s warm up session and it’d be great to keep the progress going.”
With only 10 minutes to try the revised set-up in a reduced warm up session, it wasn’t possible to work with the new setting and the team reverted back to the qualifying configuration for the day’s two races.
The first 20-lapper saw Tunstall work his way past Relentless Suzuki’s Atsushi Wantanabe and Riders Racing Martin Jessop before latching onto the back of Howie Mainwaring. Unable to find a way passed the Maxis Yamaha, Tunstall crossed the line 4th of the Cup runners.
Race two saw Tunstall get off the line well making places into turn one, however when ex-MotoGP rider Sylvain Guintoli had a moment in turn two Tunstall was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting the back of the Worx Suzuki rider, and as the Yorkshireman bounced back onto the track it was at the back of the pack with work to do.
Once again he caught and passed Wantanabe and Jessop, before setting his fastest lap of the weekend on the penultimate lap as he pulled away to claim another fourth place finish.
“It was a shame I lost out in turn two as I knew I needed a good start. But in fairness we needed to find a bit more pace to have a chance of being on the podium here this weekend. The Cup pace has been strong here, but we know we are capable of matching it."
“It's just made me even more determined to up our game for the next round.”
The results did mean Tom closed the gap to third in the championship by a handful of points.
The penultimate round of this year’s series takes place on the International circuit at Silverstone in just under two week’s time – September 27th.