DENBY DALE’S Tom Tunstall has vowed to use a partisan home crowd to his advantage as he looks to secure a top-three Mirror.co.uk British Superbike Cup spot in round 10 at Yorkshire circuit Croft tomorrow.
Tunstall suffered a frustrating round nine at Cadwell Park when bike problems meant he failed to finish race one and could only manage fourth place in the second.
That setback means Tunstall lost ground in his battle for third place with fellow Honda rider Martin Jessopp extending his lead over him by 26.5 points.
And while conceding third place is the best he can hope for now, the Hardinge Doodson Motorsport rider insists the trip ‘home’ to Croft will be the perfect opportunity to return to form.
“Cadwell was a bit of a frustrating meeting for me to be honest,” said Tunstall.
“It’s never been my strongest circuit but I’d made some good progress there lapping nearly two seconds faster than last year.
“However we were beset by problems and it really messed up our plans.
“So after all of the problems that I faced in Cadwell I really can’t wait to get out there at Croft and hopefully put all the problems behind us.
“Croft is a track that I really enjoy racing and the fact that it’s in Yorkshire makes it even better and means the atmosphere is brilliant.
“You definitely get a lot more support from the home crowd and it really spurs you on and gives you a boost. I never thought I would say this at the start of the season but I will definitely be happy with a third place finish in the standings.
“We’ve only got three races to go now so it would be brilliant to end the season on a high.”
If results go his way runaway cup leader Gary Mason – who currently holds an 111.5-point lead at the top – can clinch the title at the North Yorkshire event.
But Tunstall insists there is no time like the present as he bids to overthrow Mason and climb the top step of the podium.
“I would take a win at any circuit but if I was able to do it at Croft in front of the home crowd then that would make it just that little bit more special,” said Tunstall.
“My aim for the end of the season is to get a win, which won’t be easy with Gary about, but I know I can do it if I get the best from myself and the bike.”
British Eurosport 2 has live coverage from every round of the 2009 British Superbike Championship. See the action on Sky channel 411 or Virgin Media channel 525.
Next races at Croft on Sunday, September 13 and for updates head to uk.eurosport.yahoo.com.