BRITISH Superbike racer Tom Tunstall made it three straight meetings on the podium as the Hardinge Ice Valley-backed rider tasted champagne once again at Mallory Park.
Having finished fifth in the first Superbike Cup race for privateers, the Honda CBR1000RR rider battled hard to take third place in the second.
The result maintains Tunstall’s position of second in the British Superbike Cup Championship with the next round taking place at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the weekend of July 18-20.
On the grid for race two, Tunstall decided to change his front tyre from a hard compound full wet to a lighter cut intermediate to match the rear and, just before the warm-up laps, another shower dampened the track further.
Having snatched a handful of places on the first lap, Tunstall got held up behind Hydrex Honda rider Guy Martin, but by lap 15 both had caught and passed Mark Jessop before passing Gary Mason on lap 18.
In the closing laps Tunstall battled with Japanese Superbike champion Atsushi Wantanabe on the Rizla Suzuki and crossed the finish line third in the cup.
“It was a difficult call but I’m happy we made the right tyre choice – with a race like that it’s about which tyres will give you the fastest time to do the 30 laps, not just a few fast laps at the start or the end.
“I tried not to be too greedy with the tyre life when the track dried and although they were sliding a lot they held up well. It’s been tough, so to finish on the podium is great for all the team.”
Tunstall qualified fifth on the cup grid and he had a few problems in the first race which were fixed by the Hardinge Ice Valley team.
“It took me a couple of laps to get a feel for the bike and for sure it was an improvement,” expalined Tunstall.
“It’s a tough place to pass here and I was being held up for part of the race but about two-thirds distance the bike started to miss-fire and cut onto three cylinders intermittently. I tried changing all the electronics settings I could but it made no difference and by then it was just a matter of bringing it home.”