DENBY DALE racer Tom Tunstall had to ride through the pain barrier at the British Superbike season curtain-raiser, but he is sure his 2010 challenge is firmly on track.

Tunstall has made the step up to the British Superbike class having ridden in the Privateer Cup competition and was left battered and bruised, but unbowed, by the season’s opening rounds at Brands Hatch.

Tunstall’s preparations for round one at the Kent track were disrupted by changeable weather and mechanical issues during practice.

However, his problems were compounded when he suffered a high-speed tumble during qualifying.

“I was struggling with the bike chattering through some of the corners and I saw from my pit board I was only 0.1 from getting into qualifying phase two,” said the 31-year-old rider.

“It was one of those situations where there was a bit of rain coming down and I had to decide whether I wanted to pull in or give it a go and I decided to push on and give it a go. It just didn’t work out, it was my mistake I tried too hard”.

Struggling with the after affects of the crash Tunstall had a further set back on race day when mechanical problems forced him to retire from the first race.

However, an impressive and hard-fought performance in the second race saw Tunstall narrowly miss out on points.

Despite a mixed start at Brands Hatch, Tunstall is adamant he can be back to top form at round two at Thruxton in two weeks time.

“It was a hard weekend with the crash and then the problems we had with the bike, the team did a cracking job just to get me back out on the track and I am just looking forward to getting to Thruxton,” he added.

The next round at Thruxton is on the weekend of April 16-18.