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31st May 2011 

Lack of “Dry Time” hinders Tunstall

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

Unsettled weather at the Knockhill round of the British Superbike Championships thwarted Tom Tunstall’s plans of climbing back onto the EVO rostrum, as lack of dry track time played havoc with setting up his BMW machine.

The fifth of the twelve round BSB series was staged at Knockhill, located just north of Dunfermline in Fife. The short and undulating 1.27mile circuit commonly features changeable weather and the 2011 event was no different.

With the free practice sessions all held in “full wet” conditions, qualifying was a slightly different challenge as a drying line appeared as the session progressed. Having been caught out on the wrong tyres the Doodson Motorsport rider took 10th in the EVO class.

Race day brought brighter conditions and after a damp and patchy warm up session the track was fully dry as the first of the 30 lap outings got underway.

Immediately it was clear that Tunstall was struggling and after taking the flag in ninth explained:

“That was very hard work! I struggled on corner entry, change of direction, and grip coming out of the corners. After about third race distance I started to get arm pump trying to muscle the bike around which didn’t help either. But at least we’ve got a direction for the bike for race two.”

During an incident strewn race two, including two safety car periods, Tunstall’s pace improved by almost a second a lap and despite only finishing one place higher in 8th, was more upbeat about the performance.

“The changes we made to both the front and the back end helped a lot and although I still struggled to get the rear hooked up and gripping exiting corners, it was certainly an improvement.

With no dry time before the races the situation hit us harder than most, as we’re still understanding the bike. It was pretty much educated guess work with set up and between the races - it’s a difficult call what to change and by how much.  In hindsight we could have gone further, but that’s easy to say after the race.”

 “I’m not over the moon with the results but I’m happy with the direction we went and how we went about it. As a team we did a good job and in racing you never stop learning... On to Snetterton”

Round six takes place on the newly revamped Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk in just under two weeks time [1st-3rd July].

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com

Photo courtesy of motoprofessional.com