Testing times for Huddersfield racer Tom Tunstall
POINTS proved hard to come by for Huddersfield racer Tom Tunstall in the second round of the British Superbikes 2012 series.
With only a few days separating the first meeting at Brands Hatch and the second outing at Hampshire circuit Thuxton, Jentin Doodson Motorsport Team riders Tunstall and new teammate Alex Polita found the mixed weather throughout the build up was far from ideal.
Due to very limited testing of the team’s new Ducati Panigale machines it was a challenging meeting for both Polita and Tunstall around the fastest track in the championship.
Polita came home 19th in race one before retiring in race two with a technical issue, while Tunstall was 23rd in the first race and slipped two more places in the second outing.
“It is testament to the new 1199 Panigale that we’ve been able to get so far with completely standard road engines against tuned superbikes with the benefit of a lot of data and testing,” said Tunstall.
“The bike is great and has so much potential, so it’s important we use the next couple of weeks to continue the improvements and tap into that.
“Likewise there is more to come from me and my riding also – and I’m looking forward to building onto these first two rounds and coming back stronger.”
The third round is staged at Oulton Park over the Mayday bank holiday weekend (May 5-7) and Holmfirth rider James Lodge will be looking to build on a promising start to the new season in Cheshire.
The twice British 125 champion is now racing on a Yamaha for the Moto-Breakers team and collected points at Thruxton with an 11th place finish to keep him in the top five of the rankings in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 championship – following up his great showing at Brands Hatch in the opening meeting.
“I had a great start in the race and was lying in sixth after the first few corners,” said Lodge.
“However, I kept losing places on the brakes into the final chicane and on the second lap it cost me four places in one go.
“I was disappointed with the result because I knew if I could get the bike stopped more easily I could have run up with the leaders.
“If anything it has hit home just how competitive the championship is, if everything is not going 100 per cent it is easy to really drop down the results.
“However, I am looking forward to Oulton in a couple of weeks and can learn a lot from the mistakes. I also enjoy the Cheshire circuit so I am confident I can get back on form again.”
James’ brother Jonathan looks set to spend his season vying with Netherton racer Josh Caygill in the British Supersport Championship.
The pair were in close proximity in both races in Hampshire with Caygill, riding for the Vancraft Triumph team, 22nd to Lodge’s 23rd in the first race.
The second race saw Lodge, also on a Triumph for the ANR-TSS Racing team, take 21st to Caygill’s 22nd – with Lodge’s finishes earning him 22 points in the Supersport Cup section and seeing him lying fifth in the rankings.
Holmfirth teenager Joe Irving made a strong start to his season as he ensured fourth place in the early standings in the British Motostar Championship. Thuxton was the opening round for this competition and Irving snapped up fifth and sixth place finishes.