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20th July 2010 

 Frustration and Points for Tunstall



Superbike racer Tom Tunstall experienced a weekend of extremes at the latest round of the British Superbike Championship. Having bounced back from multiple mechanical issues to score more points the Yorkshireman was left to dust himself down after he was taken out of the last race by an over exuberant competitor...

The ultra-high speed Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk staged the seventh round of the ever popular “BSB” Championships and with a three race weekend schedule Tom and his Doodson Motorsport Team were prepared to make the most of their latest opportunity.

However only 3 laps into the first session the newly rebuilt and refreshed engine expired and signalled the first of a host of mechanical issues which meant Tunstall missed two of the three free practice sessions, as well as having to abandon the qualifying session.

An understandably frustrated Tunstall explained:

“We had our engine fully rebuilt for this meeting knowing how important a strong bike is here. Unfortunately things didn’t go to script and not only are we struggling to get a bike together we’ve also missed a lot of track time and still need to get set-up. In qualifying the bike was getting slower each lap and I scrapped the session before we did more damage... It’s fair to say we’re on the back foot!”

With less than an hour before the first race on Saturday afternoon – the re-run of the postponed Knockhill race – the team found a broken sensor and were able to repair in time to take the grid for the 20-lapper.

Clearly lacking track time Tunstall’s pace improved as the race progressed, having ended the opening lap in 24th; he’d worked his way up to 18th by the flag.

“The race was more like a test session for us, we’d just gone back to last year’s setting and although it wasn’t perfect it was in the ball park... and the engine worked which was a bonus! 
The best thing was I’ve got some confidence going into tomorrow’s races”

The warm but windy weather continued through into Sunday.
From his 24th grid position Tunstall ended lap one in 22nd and once again continued to progress up the field. Peter Hickman crashed out just in front of the Doodson backed rider on lap 16 elevating him up to 15th and into the points.

“I got a good start but struggled with the front especially at the end of the race – we’d changed the setting from yesterday and we’ll review it for the next race. At the end I was riding defensively. Trying not to lose the front and keep my points scoring position.

“The changes we’re making should really have been done during free practice but that obviously wasn’t an option for us – great to get more points and I’ll look to add more in the next one!”

The third race of the weekend again saw Tunstall start his now trademark elevation up the field however after passing Pauli Pekkanen on the brakes at the end of the Revett Straight the Finnish rider ran into the side of Tunstall’s Honda causing both riders to crash.

Whilst Tunstall’s bike was too badly damaged to continue, Pekkanen rejoined the race.

“Pekkanen was out of order, I was tipping into the corner and when he hit me he was on the inside kerb. If he hadn’t hit me he’d have never made the corner anyway. It’s the second time this year I’ve been taken out by another rider. I’m not saying he did it on purpose but the result is the same. At least we got in the points in race two!”

Pekkanen was later excluded from the results for “Careless Riding”.

 “This weekend, and most of this season for that matter has been so frustrating with a lot of issues being out of my hands. I don’t doubt my or the teams ability to dust ourselves down; rebuild the bike and the engines, we’ve been in the points in the last four rounds and we’ll come back even stronger for the next round.”

The next round is the another three race event this time at the legendary Brands Hatch GP circuit over the August 6th – 8th weekend and last year saw Tunstall climb onto the Superbike Cup Podium three times.


photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com


photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com