31st May 2011
Tom Tunstall produced another strong showing in tricky conditions. He was less than a lap away from making it two podiums in a row when he was taken out by another rider at the latest round of the British Superbike Championship.
2.35 mile Thruxton circuit in Hampshire provides a unique challenge for
the riders and teams alike, with an undulating surface and fast open
turns providing the fastest track on the calendar.
the back of a debut Evo class podium at the previous round, both Tom
and the Doodson Motorsport team were keen to build on the success and
used the practice sessions to good effect, working towards an improved
bike set-up and good race pace.
Although only qualifying in 10th place Evo runner Tunstall was still upbeat heading into race day:
didn’t really work out for us but I know 10th isn’t a true reflection
of our current level. We’ve made smaller changes to the bike this
weekend and we’re still heading in the right direction. My pace is very
consistent, even on used race tyres, which is very important here as
the track is hard on tyres which are always a factor at the end of the
It's a great track to race on, plenty of places to pass and I’m looking forward to both races”.
Tunstall’s comments were backed up in the morning warm up session as more minor tweaks brought a confidence inspiring pace.
weather gradually deteriorated in the build up to Race One, meaning a
tough call for not only the riders and teams but also the organisers
who commendably dealt with staging the race in the unpredictable
underway, and reduced to 15laps, the “Wet Race” provided Tunstall
another great opportunity and despite being baulked and last out of the
first corner, he’d already made up ten places 2.3 miles later.
pace was impressive as he continued to pick his way through the field,
lapping within a tenth of the pace of the Evo leaders. By lap seven he
was the fourth placed Evo bike and working to close down the two second
gap that separated him from another rostrum finish.
laps later he was on the back wheel of Swiss rider Patrick Muff and
with two laps to go he made his move, passing into the ultra fast
Church corner. Muff pulled alongside down the back straight but once
again Tunstall out braked the Honda rider into the chicane.
the last lap in third, Tunstall lost the position on the start and
finish straight but once again lined up the pass into the Campbell
pulled alongside, on the inside of the corner, Tunstall was surprised
to see Muff slam across the front of his BMW – the impact throwing
Tunstall from his machine and onto the tarmac. Winded and with the bike
too badly damaged, the Yorkshireman was unable to remount.
The Doodson Motorsport team worked hard to rebuild the bike for the second outing and Tunstall’s lap times placed him third on the Evo grid. The visibility was poor back in the pack.
passing Kawasaki rider James Hillier for fourth on lap two Tunstall’s
front brake, which had been damaged and repaired after the crash locked
on into the Club Chicane forcing him into the pits and out of the race.
Understandably disappointed Tunstall explained;
“It's been a very tough day. Two DNF’s [Did Not Finish] and both out of my control...
me it was a good race, I rode well, the lap times were good, did all
the hard work but unfortunately didn’t get the reward. At least Muff
apologised for his mistake. Obviously race two was also disappointing,
following a crash these things can happen but it’s frustrating as we
had two very good opportunities today.
are a lot of positives from the weekend and it’s important to focus on
them and move on... A few hot baths later I’ll be fine!”
The next round of the series takes place at Knockhill in Scotland on June 19th.