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19 April 2010 

Strong weekend for Tunstall 



Doodson Motorsport racer Tom Tunstall bounced back from a mechanical issue in Sunday’s first British Superbike race. Producing another strong performance, Tunstall fought his way through the field only to be denied a points scoring finish by just a few tenths of a second off Superbike legend Chris Walker.

The second round of twelve in 2010 British Superbike Championship campaign was staged at the ultra fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire at the weekend. Tom Tunstall and his Doodson Motorsport team progressed well through the free practice sessions optimising bike set-up for the bumpy high speed track. The culmination was an impressive qualifying lap, with an average speed of 111mph, placing him 17th on the grid of 34 riders.

Tunstall explained:

“I’m really pleased with the progress the team have made. We changed the bike set up overnight which gave me a lot more rear grip and also helped the bike to turn. I’m lapping nearly two seconds faster which says it all really. The times are close and I think everyone will have tyre issues towards the end of the 20-lap race, I’m confident we’re capable of turning it into results in the race”

The conditions were near perfect for Sunday’s races with unbroken blue skies and sun baking the 2.36mile track.

As Tunstall took to the grid a slight oil leak was spotted by the team, and after attempting to solve the issue the Yorkshireman was forced to start from pit lane. However after completing only one lap oil smoke was visible from Tunstall’s machine and forcing him to retire from the race. Things took a turn for the worse as his machine then caught fire – but the swift work of the marshals meant no serious damage was done.

The Doodson Motorsport team once again worked swiftly to re-prepare the bike for the second race, but with new rules basing the race two grid positions on race one lap times Tunstall was dealt another blow being shuffled to the rear of the grid as he’d only completed one lap.

Undeterred Tunstall made swift and continued progress throughout the race. Maintaining his relentless pace even after the tyres had gone well past their best, Tunstall closed down a three second gap to a five rider battle for the final points placing.

On lap 17 the group hurtled into the Club Chicane four abreast with Tunstall managing to find his way past two of the riders taking the outside line. However the close battle ended in tears for two of the pack [Craig] Fitzpatrick & Supermoto Champion Christian Iddon as they crashed out with Tunstall having to ride over the chicane to avoid being taken out.

BMW mounted Steve Brogan managed to pull away from the fracas leaving Tunstall and Chris Walker to fight it out for the last point.

Tunstall found a way past once into the Campbell Complex and also into the 120mph plus Church Corner only for Walker to find his way past on both occasion.

On the run into the chicane for the final time Walker misjudged his entry and took evasive action over the chicane, which meant Tunstall couldn’t mount a final attack and followed the multiple race winner over the line missing out on 15th and the point by only a few tenths.

“The oil leak and the change in grid positions meant I had a big hill to climb & I’m gutted to miss out on the points, the team and I definitely deserved it.

 

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

 photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com