New team and new challenge for veteran Walker

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Ollerton’s MCE British Superbike Championship rider Chris Walker is looking forward to his 2014 season this coming weekend at Brands Hatch with his new outfit, the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki Racing Team, writes Paul Horton.

He told Chad about his career ups and downs and his vision for the new season after the BSB official test day at Donington Park.

After missing the first test session, the choice of most BSB riders, due to rain and a damp track, he ended up one of the fastest riders during the rest of the day.

During session two he finished third with a time of 1:32.170 and a speed of 97.15mph below Shane Byrne and leader Josh Brookes, and he recorded a top speed of 160.1mph on sector two of the circuit.

Test session three saw him in fourth position, by the end of the day finishing fifth fastest.

The oldest rider on the grid and veteran with a career of 259 BSB races, 21 wins and 11 pole positions, Walker’s most recent win at Oulton Park in 2012, he finished 10th in the overall standings out of a field of 30 riders at the end of the British Superbike Championship last year.
Speaking to Walker, he is positive he can challenge for a spot in this year’s title Showdown aboard the championship-winning 2014 Kawasaki Ninj ZX-10R, a bike that Walker is familiar with and that has dominated Superbike riding around the world since its launch in 2010.

Nicknamed ‘The Stalker’, Chris started his career as a local motocross rider at the age of 13, moving to road racing in 1994. By the end of that year and into 1996 he rose through the ranks with ease and had ridden in Motorbike Grand Prix and scored points.

Chris described the year 2000 as ‘his heyday’, but he then lost out on the British Superbike Championship when an engine failure in his Suzuki took him out of a winning position with just three laps remaining of the final race at Donington Park, leaving Walker in tears and gifting the title to GSE Ducati’s Neil Hodgson.

Between 2001 and 2006 Chris went into the 500cc World Championship and World Superbikes with his best result, his maiden Superbike World Championship race win in 2006 at Assen, Netherlands.

He moved back to British Superbikes in 2007, where he is firmly established

Team mate to Walker this season is highly talented Superbike rider James Ellison, with nine BSB wins to his name, who made his debut at Silverstone in 2004.

He came back to British Superbikes in 2013, where he secured a slot in the prestigious Showdown and finished fourth overall, taking three victories and six podiums.

Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki is definitely a team to watch during 2014 and Walker said: “I am excited about the new season and I feel that the combination of the team, the bike and myself and James as team mates puts us in a really good position ready for when the season kicks-off.

“I have ridden Kawasakis for most of my career, so this is the ideal fit for me and a good chance to have another go at making the Showdown.

“Myself and James were team mates in 2002 and it is good for us to be working together again because he is a race-winning and championship-contending rider and that will only stoke the Stalker fire when we get on track.”

The bikes they are using are Kawasaki ZX-10R’s, 998cc with a top speed of close to 200mph and 0 to 100mph in around 5.5 seconds.

Walker has ridden on Kawasakis for the majority of his career. They are well known for winning the 2012 BSB Championship and the 2013 winning bike of the Word Superbike Championship.

As well as his British Superbike Championship challenge, Chris is also well known for his Chris Walker Race School, based at Mallory Park circuit in Leicestershire.

He added: “I have been very lucky to have support over the years from the local BSB fans and been lucky to have come from a great stock like John Reynolds, who’s a local guy also.

“We’ve had a few legends along the way, Steve Spray before John Reynolds, so it’s nice to be in that bunch, it really is and thanks again for the support over the years It’s what’s kept me in a job for so long and I’ve had such a following. It’s great.”

There are 12 rounds to the British Superbike Championship and it all starts this coming weekend at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on with local rounds at Cadwell Park on 23rd-25th August and the one to watch at Donington Park on 5th-7th September, both Walker and Ellison’s favourite circuit.

Look out for Chad competition to win BSB tickets to the Donington Park round later this year.