Tom Tunstall has become the latest rider to confirm his participation in the 2009 British Superbike Championship as he targets victory in the Cup class.

Tunstall will continue to race with the Hardinge Doodson Motorsport team, but, significantly, will upgrade to a Honda CBR1000RR acquired from the World Superbike Championship paddock.

Tunstall enjoyed a solid season in 2008, finishing all but one race and managing a best Cup result of third place on the way to fourth in the final standings.

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However, with a much improved bike as his disposal, Tunstall is confident he will be challenging at the sharp end of the Cup class more regularly in 2009.

"I'm very happy with our preparations for 2009. The new bike looks great and although I haven't ridden it yet everyone I've spoken to says it's a big improvement over the old model. I can't wait to get down to Spain and start testing".

Meanwhile, the team will their continue their partnership with Hardinge Machine Tools Ltd, who have strong links with the motorsport engineering sector, including technical partnerships with Force India F1 team.

"Our machine tools are being used, and are increasingly being specified by the motorsport sector," said a spokesman. "Our customers know that we share their passion for the sport, and that we understand the manufacturing and commercial challenges they face. They also recognise, through our motorsport sponsorship and support, that our involvement and dedication is genuine."

Tunstall joins Gary Mason, Brian McCormack and Alistair Fagan on the provisional Cup entry list this season.