CHRIS Walker battled through a drenched MCE Insurance British Superbike opener at Brands Hatch in conditions he has made his own – but the 40-year-old revealed he is far happier in the dry.
The torrid conditions at the Kent circuit eventually led to race two of the season’s opening round being called off, but not before Walker used his experience to negotiate a 12th-place finish to claim four points.
Winning his only World Superbike race in 2006 in similar conditions Walker has gained a reputation as a wet-track specialist and he looked a sturdier competitor than the 12 who failed to finish.
But the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki rider played down his successes in the wet and insisted he was looking towards a much drier race come this weekend’s second round at Thruxton.
“A lot of it is luck, it really is, I was following a couple of the guys who just leant over a degree and they were upside down,” said Walker.
“I was behind Noriyuki Haga who had to save it two or three times so it is a bit of a lottery. I have had some results over the years in the wet and people assume that you enjoy it.
“I won my only World Superbike race in the wet. But it is not an enjoyable time out there when it is raining.
“There are a few grey masters, I have been at times, but I believe Michael Rutter is amphibious. He has wet feet by all accounts. But is always changes the order a little bit and it mixes it up.
“The bike is powerful and can be a little bit of a beast on a wet track so only having one race in the wet wasn’t the worst thing.”
After an on-off winter where Walker was unsure of returning to the British Superbike paddock, he eventually signed back on for his current team for another year of racing.
And the veteran is in confident mood ahead of the trip to Thruxton and insists that after this year’s rule changes he could be spending the season battling it out for the podium.
“To get everything sorted last minute and make it to the grid with essentially a better bike than I had last year is very good,” he added.
“We have a fast bike that is for sure, I have never raced on a bike as quick as this one and if that works at Thruxton we could be near the front.
“We could do with some dry time, to get familiar with the other bikes but the title race is wide open and it is just great to be involved in it.”
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