EVESHAM’S Mike Tustin and TeamMTR enjoyed their best ever start to a season in round one of the ThundersportGB GP1 Sportsman Class at Brands Hatch at the weekend.
Tustin has now moved from the 600cc Pre-National Championship in which he finished sixth overall in 2015 up to the 1,000cc GP1 Sportsman Class on board a Kawasaki ZX10r for the 2016 season.
It was Tustin’s first time on the big Kawasaki in the GP1 Sportsman Class and, with limited testing leading up to the event, it was always a case of learning fast from the very start of Friday practice.
After getting to grips with the circuit and bike, the team started playing with the set-up and gearing and found something which suited them.
Saturday morning started with a wet qualifying session and this was the first time they had ridden the bike in wet conditions, so a steady but fast session was required.
They qualified a respectable 22nd on the grid, which was second in their Sportsman class.
Tustin then describes the race action, starting with race one.
“Saturday was also wet, but we got a good start thanks to the Kawasaki’s launch control system, which was also the first time we had tried it.
“The wet race was difficult to judge with many riders falling early on. Once we had settled in, we managed to hold a respectable 20th on track and second place in class, resulting in our first podium of the year.
“Race two was on Sunday but in the dry, so it was another set of new tyres to test, again for the first time. After a poor start, we dropped back a few places, but started to claw our way back and make some passes to finish 17th on the road and second in our class again.
“Race three in the afternoon was much the same and a much better start allowed us to climb our way up to 14th on the road and second again in our class. This gave us three podiums in all three races, which is the best start to a season we’ve ever had.”
The next meeting is at Donington Park between March 26-28 when the Vale team will hope to continue their good start to the season.