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6th July 2010 

 Rollercoaster Weekend for Tunstall

The British Superbike Championship’s annual trip north of the border to Knockhill in Scotland proved to be an eventful weekend for Doodson Motorsport rider Tom Tunstall. Having fought through the field for points in race one, deteriorating weather conditions led to race two being cancelled.

After struggling to find a bike set-up to suit the short and undulating 1.27mile track throughout the free practice sessions, the team made a breakthrough with suspension set-up for qualifying.

Having missed reaching the second phase by only 0.05seconds Tunstall was still upbeat:

“Ok I’m not exactly over the moon with my grid position [22nd] but I’m really pleased with the progress and my feeling on the bike. I dropped my lap time by around a second a lap and when you consider we’re only a second from pole, it reflects the steps we’ve made. But more importantly my confidence is back... I’ve now got a bike I can race with”.

With the first two days practice sessions taking place on a dry track – Race day saw heavy rain and strong winds delay the morning “Warm-Up” session whilst the standing water was cleared.

The conditions had improved but were still challenging for race one. With crashes halting proceedings it took until the third start to get the race underway.

At a reduced distance of 15 laps instead of the original 30, Tunstall struggled in the opening laps dropping to 25th. As the track continued to dry the Yorkshireman started to make inroads to the field ahead.

On laps 10 and 11 Tunstall passed three riders per lap as his stormed his way through the pack. By lap 14 was lapping at top 10 pace as he charged his way into the points taking 15th at the flag.

Tunstall explained:
“At the start I was having massive issues with rear grip but as the track started to dry out the grip came back. I didn’t get greedy with my tyres and although they were overheating and sliding a lot it was controllable. If there had been more laps we’d have finished even higher”.
With the difficult conditions continuing throughout the day - race two was reduced to 20laps around the still wet Scottish circuit. A multiple rider pile up exiting the first corner meant the race was red-flagged whilst the marshal’s cleared the track.

Meanwhile the weather deteriorated further and in the interests of safety the organisers made the difficult decision of abandoning the race.

“Obviously it’s a shame we didn’t get two races today not only for riders and teams but all the spectators and fans that had made the journey. The BSB organisers have had a tough day and they’ve got it exactly right which can’t have been easy...

“It's the third meeting in a row we’ve been in the points and we’ll certainly be looking to build on that at the next round”.

Snetterton in Norfolk stages the seventh of the twelve round series over the weekend of 16th-18th July, and with the cancelled race two from Knockhill being re-run on the Saturday it promises to be a busy and exciting weekend!

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com