CHRIS Walker is not about to throw in the towel on his MCE Insurance British Superbike title ambitions despite enduring a frustrating Bank Holiday Monday at Cadwell Park.
With the top six set to battle it out for the silverware in round ten, Walker headed to Lincolnshire for round eight knowing he had just four races to close the gap, sitting two places outside the Showdown going in.
The 40-year-old’s hopes were boosted by the fact that the man sitting in that sixth and final spot, Noriyuki Haga, was unable to race having broken his collarbone in practice.
But Walker failed to capitalise, finishing race one 13th before only improving two places in the second for just eight championship points.
And to compound matters the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki rider now finds himself 25 points off sixth in tenth with James Westmoreland and Alex Lowes leapfrogging him following a successful trip to Cadwell Park.
However all is not lost for Walker with Donington Park in two weeks time offering him one last chance to propel himself into the showdown ahead of round ten in Assen, and he is vowing to fight until the bitter end.
“To be honest it was a really tough weekend, probably the hardest in terms of pace in practice and qualifying as I was struggling to get into the top 20 at times, and that’s not been the norm this season,” he said.
“I’m still focused on getting to that Showdown, Haga wasn’t racing so that helped us out. Alex had a great day and Westy did alright as well so it’s all going to have been mixed up a bit, so fingers crossed going into Donnington and we’ll see what happens.
“I would have liked to have taken more points off Haga ideally. I’ve ridden well at Cadwell over the last couple of years, I had the lap record for a number of years I’ve had a lot wins – but nonetheless I knew it was going to be a tough race here.
“Bomber [Karl] Harris had a good weekend, [Michael] Rutter had a better weekend than he’s had recently, [Danny] Buchan went well – they are all people who taking points off guys who could be in Showdown contention at the end of the season.
“[Peter] Hickman is another example, he got eighth today with a good ride and that could have a baring on other people’s points in the Showdown. In that way I’ve had a result.”
Despite falling to break into the top ten at Cadwell Park, Walker’s improvement in the second race put a smile back on his face.
And he is keep to remain upbeat and positive heading into round nine in two weeks.
“We chipped away and chipped away and changed a few bits after the first race, and to be honest that finish in race two is really quite good because coming back from the fifth row of the grid was always going to be hard work,” he added.
“It was a tough weekend but not the worst we’ve had and we scored in both races so there’s plenty of reasons to remain upbeat.
“Overall the pace of the bike looks good. It’s strange because all season we’ve never once strayed away from the setting we started the year with, aside from minor bits here and there, and we’ve been on the pace.
“We came here and it just didn’t work all weekend and to be honest it took us until race two to find something that did.”
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