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Chris Walker (motorcycle racer)

 

Chris Walker (motorcycle racer)

Chris Walker
Chris Walker riding the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha during the 2009 British Superbikes championship at Snetterton
Nationality English
Born (1972-03-25) 25 March 1972
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands
Bike number 9
Website Walker The Stalker

Chris Walker (born 25 March 1972 in Nottingham) is a British motorcycle road racer and former scrambler with the nickname The Stalker. He is a four-time runner-up in the British Superbike Championship, and a former race winner in the Superbike World Championship. For the 2015 season Walker signed for Tommy Hill's Be Wiser Kawasaki Team aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10R in the British Superbike Championship,[1] following his 2014 season with Lloyds British GBmoto squad.[2] Team manager Hill left in August, 2015,[3] and the team folded in September, leaving Walker without a ride for the final two race meetings of the season.[4]

Like Formula One legend Ayrton Senna, Walker developed Bell's Palsy which paralysed part of his face in 2002.[5][6] He lists his determination as his best feature, and his love of puddings as his worst. He usually races #9.

Contents

  • Early years and British Superbike Championship 1995–2000 1
  • 500 cc World Championship 2001 and World Superbikes 2002–2006 2
  • Return to the British Superbike Championship 2007 3
  • World Supersport 2008 4
  • British Superbike Championship 2009–2013 5
  • British Superbike Championship 2014 and 2015 6
  • Personal life 7
  • Career statistics 8
    • By championship 8.1
      • British Superbike Championship 8.1.1
      • World Superbike And Supersport 8.1.2
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early years and British Superbike Championship 1995–2000

Walker only started road racing in 1995 after many years as an accomplished motocross rider, but by the end of that year and into 1996 he rose through the ranks with ease and had ridden in Grands Prix and scored points.

In 1997 he challenged for the prestigious British Superbike championship with Yamaha, finishing as runner-up to experienced team-mate Niall Mackenzie. He switched to Kawasaki for 1998, winning in the season’s first race, before it became clear that the Yamahas of Mackenzie and Steve Hislop were the bikes to beat. Injury to Hislop allowed Walker to take 2nd in the series again, a feat he repeated behind Troy BaylissDucati in 1999.

He came agonisingly close to the 2000 title, 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. He did however take a second place at Brands Hatch in the World Superbike round that year, the best of his many wild card entries in the UK rounds (and occasionally Assen in the Netherlands) over the years.

500 cc World Championship 2001 and World Superbikes 2002–2006

Walker made an attempt at the 500 cc World Championship in 2001. He predicted that "For me it's going to be the toughest year ever", which proved accurate, as the factory Shell-sponsored Honda was hard to ride and forced Walker to override, resulting in many huge crashes. In 2002, he moved to the Superbike World Championship, initially with the Fuchs Kawasaki team.

Walker placed 6th in the championship for GSE Ducati in 2003, and 11th for Carl Fogarty's Foggy Petronas team in 2004, respectively teamed with James Toseland and Troy Corser (both of whom won the title the next season, Toseland riding the 2004 Fila Ducati to success and Corser the Alstare Suzuki in 2005).

In 2005, he joined the PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse team, proving to be the most consistent Kawasaki rider in terms of pace and results, securing one podium finish (3rd place, round 6 at Valencia) and finishing 7th place overall.

2006 saw Walker teamed up with Frenchman Régis Laconi and Spain's Fonsi Nieto on a Kawasaki Europe backed ZX-10R for PSG. Walker secured his maiden Superbike World Championship race win on 3 September 2006 in Race 1 at Assen, Netherlands in his 131st race. Starting the race in 13th position, and dropping to 26th position at the first corner following an excursion onto the grass, Walker braved the torrential rain and a high rate of attrition to win in a time of 44 minutes, 23.501 seconds. He came 9th overall in the championship, 19 points ahead of Nieto as the highest Kawasaki.

Despite his finishing position, Walker was subsequently dropped by PSG for the 2007 season, when Kawasaki is expected to support PSG as an official factory team.[7]

Return to the British Superbike Championship 2007

Walker at Brands Hatch in 2007.

Walker initially struggled on the Rizla Suzuki in the British Superbike championship, occasionally outpaced by rookie team-mate Cal Crutchlow. When Neil Hodgson tested the bike[8] some speculated that Walker's ride was under threat. The team insisted it wasn't, and at Oulton Park he took third in race one, in tricky conditions which saw many top riders (such as Jonathan Rea, Gregorio Lavilla and Tom Sykes) crash out. This was only his second podium of the season. His points tally for the year was 225, comparing favourably to his team-mate's 152.

World Supersport 2008

He was not retained for 2008, but raced in the Supersport World Championship for the very first time in and 2008, for the GIL Kawasaki team alongside teammate Katsuaki Fujiwara.[9] However, the bike was not competitive, and he switched to the Paul Bird VK Vent-Axia team in World Superbikes for the final five rounds of the season.[10] He opened with minor points at Brands Hatch, but crashed twice at Donington Park.

British Superbike Championship 2009–2013

For 2009 he was optimistic of a top British Superbike Championship ride, as all the established good riders are gone.[11] He ultimately joined the Henderson Yamaha team, but struggled for much of the year. He was competitive in race 1 at Mallory Park until chaos and controversy struck. He was running second when Josh Brookes lost control of his bike and catapulted race leader Simon Andrews, dropping oil from Brookes' Honda. Walker was one of five other riders who either crashed or downed their bikes to avoid crashing. The red flag was shown, but these seven riders were excluded from the results, due to an unexpected application of the rules. Brookes received a two-race ban for his mistake.[12]

For 2010 Walker was released by the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha. It looked like he would not be racing in 2010, but he arranged a deal wirh on a privately run Suzuki tuned by former BSB rider Ray Stringer just a week before the opening round.[13] After 2 races Walker was offered a ride in the MSS Kawasaki team when Simon Andrews was injured in a crash while guesting in World Superbikes. He returned to the Suzuki once Andrews was fit again, but raced for SMT Honda at Snetterton, scoring the team's best 2010 results of two sevenths and an eleventh in the process[14]

During 2011 and 2012 Walker rode for Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki,[15] and for 2013 he rode with Quattro Plant Kawasaki.[16]

British Superbike Championship 2014 and 2015

After a season with Lloyds British GBmoto on a Kawasaki ZX-10R, for 2015 Walker changed to Be Wiser Kawasaki Team, again riding a ZX-10R, for a team owned by Alan Greig, having Be Wiser Insurance as main sponsor and part-sponsored by Dickies industrial clothing.

As the oldest rider competing in British Superbikes, Walker's extensive experience with superbike machines and Kawasaki makes him ideal as lead-rider to develop the new squad, partnered by Danny Buchan, fresh from his 2014 success as Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Champion.[2]

Former BSB rider and 2012 Champion Tommy Hill was team-manager, making his return to racing after three years' absence developing his graphic design business.[1] Hill left in August, 2015, and the team folded in September, leaving Walker without a ride for the final two race meetings of the season.[3][4]

Personal life

Chris' father John was the proprietor of John Walker Superbikes, a retail motorcycle dealership in Langley Mill, Nottingham, which also owned Fox's Kawasaki in Mapperley, Nottingham, and Wraggs Motorcycles in Mansfield.[17]

Chris Walker lives in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire,[18] and operates a Moto Cross course at Gonerby Moor, Lincolnshire.[19]

Career statistics

Stats correct as of 9 July 2012

By championship

British Superbike Championship

Year Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2
2007 Suzuki BHGP
5
BHGP
8
THR
9
THR
Ret
SIL
3
SIL
4
OUL
Ret
OUL
9
SNE
9
SNE
9
MOP
9
MOP
Ret
KNO
5
KNO
6
OUL
3
OUL
8
MAL
4
MAL
6
CRO
8
CRO
10
CAD
8
CAD
6
DON
6
DON
4
BHI
7
BHI
6
7th 225
2009 Yamaha BHI
14
BHI
8
OUL
11
OUL
9
DON
5
DON
3
THR
Ret
THR
Ret
SNE
6
SNE
17
KNO
7
KNO
5
MAL
Ret
MAL
12
BHGP
9
BHGP
Ret
BHGP
12
CAD
11
CAD
6
CRO
Ret
CRO
11
SIL
Ret
SIL
11
OUL
9
OUL
14
OUL
7
9th 141 [20]
2010 Suzuki BHI
9
BHI
Ret
THR
Ret
THR
15
MAL
6
MAL
5
KNO
10
KNO
C
10th 130 [21]
Kawasaki OUL
8
OUL
11
CAD
7
CAD
8
[22]
Honda SNE
11
SNE
7
SNE
7
BHGP
22
BHGP
Ret
BHGP
13
CAD
11
CAD
15
CRO
9
CRO
12
SIL
9
SIL
8
OUL
16
OUL
Ret
OUL
9
[23]
2011 Kawasaki BHI
10
BHI
11
OUL
16
OUL
11
CRO
Ret
CRO
13
THR
8
THR
8
KNO
14
KNO
7
SNE
8
SNE
8
OUL
14
OUL
C
BHGP
5
BHGP
15
BHGP
15
CAD
10
CAD
Ret
CAD
DNS
DON
Ret
DON
9
SIL
17
SIL
Ret
BHGP
12
BHGP
5
BHGP
Ret
12th 105 [24]
2012 Kawasaki BHI
12
BHI
C
THR
NC
THR
15
OUL
7
OUL
1
OUL
9
SNE
7
SNE
7
KNO
Ret
KNO
Ret
OUL
7
OUL
12
OUL
11
BHGP
6
BHGP
DNF
CAD
13
CAD
11
DON
8
DON
10
ASS
15
ASS
14
SIL
10
SIL
8
BHGP
DNF
BHGP
DNF
BHGP
9
9th 138 [25]

World Superbike And Supersport

Yr Class Team ESP
AUS
RSA
JPN
ITA
GBR
GER
SMR
USA
GBR
GER
NED
ITA
Pts Pos Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2002 SBK Kawasaki 10 7 9 9 8 9 11 13 Ret 10 14 4 DNS 9 7 8 11 10 6 8 9 15 Ret 7 11 12 9th 152 [26]
Yr Class Team ESP
AUS
JPN
ITA
GER
GBR
SMR
USA
GBR
NED
ITA
FRA
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2003 SBK Ducati 3 4 7 6 Ret Ret 6 6 5 3 9 8 5 8 5 3 3 Ret 5 8 Ret 5 3 3 6th 234 [27]
Yr Class Team ESP
AUS
SMR
ITA
GER
GBR
USA
GBR
NED
ITA
FRA
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2004 SBK Petronas 3 7 10 8 6 13 8 7 Ret 7 Ret 12 Ret Ret 9 4 12 10 Ret 16 8 8 11th 128 [28]
Yr Class Team QAT
AUS
ESP
ITA
EUR
SMR
CZE
GBR
NED
GER
ITA
FRA
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2005 SBK Kawasaki 14 Ret 9 Ret 4 3 8 8 6 6 8 11 4 10 5 4 Ret DNS Inj Inj 6 CAN 7 5 7th 160 [29]
Yr Class Team QAT
AUS
ESP
ITA
EUR
SMR
CZE
GBR
NED
GER
ITA
FRA
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2006 SBK Kawasaki Ret 16 10 10 Ret 7 11 9 6 8 Ret 4 7 10 7 8 1 14 11 10 12 14 6 8 9th 158 [30]
Yr Class Team QAT
AUS
ESP
NED
ITA
USA
GER
SMR
CZE
GBR
EUR
ITA
FRA
POR
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2008 SBK Honda 15 15 Ret Ret 18 15 15 15 17 19 31st 5 [31]
2008 WSS Kawasaki 9 14 9 12 Ret 9 12 11 16th 36 [32]

References

  1. ^ a b Tommy Hill returns to BSB as team boss with Be Wiser KawasakiMotorcycle News, October 2014 Retrieved 14 November 2014
  2. ^ a b Horton, Paul. "Wiser move for Walker" Chad, local newspaper, 13 November 2014 p.111 Accessed 14 November 2014
  3. ^ a b Hill leaves Be Wiser Kawasaki after ‘differing ideas’ Bike Sport News, 25 August 2015, Retrieved 10 October 2015
  4. ^ a b Be Wiser Kawasaki withdraw from BSB Motor Cycle News, 28 August 2015, Retrieved 10 October 2015
  5. ^ Walker primed for GSEBBC Sport, July 2002 Retrieved 14 November 2014
  6. ^ Famous sufferers of Bells Palsy
  7. ^ http://www.robmacracing.com/team/rider.asp?rider=Chris%20Walker&champ=superbike
  8. ^ Soup :: Hodgson To Test Suzuki Superbike :: 06-18-2007
  9. ^ http://www.kawasaki-racingteam.eu/road-race/gil/ GIL Kawasaki team
  10. ^ Good progress for Chris Walker on debut World Superbike test - | Motorcycle Sport | WSB | BSB | MotoGP | TT & Road races | MCN
  11. ^ Haslam to WSBK with Stiggy Honda? | WSBK News | Sep 2008 | Crash.Net
  12. ^ 'Reckless' Brookes banned for two BSB rounds - News | Motorcycle Sport | BSB Results | MCN
  13. ^ Error
  14. ^ SMT boss ‘over the moon’ with Walker debut
  15. ^ Walker and Hillier sign for Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing Mirror, November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2014
  16. ^ Dickies Workwear Retrieved 20 November 2014
  17. ^ John Walker Superbikes Limited (dissolved) Open Corporates Retrieved 20 November 2014
  18. ^ Ollerton race ace Chris Walker qualifies for MCE British Superbike Championship Showdown Chad, local newspaper, September 2014, Retrieved 20 November 2014
  19. ^ Stalker MX Retrieved 20 November 2014
  20. ^ 2011 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli
  21. ^ Stalker inks 11th-hour deal with private Suzuki | BSB News | Mar 2010 | Crash.Net
  22. ^ Walker to ride MSS Kawasaki at Oulton - News | Motorcycle Sport | BSB Results | MCN
  23. ^ Racers-Republic | Walker replaces Iddon at SMT Honda
  24. ^ http://www.britishsuperbike.com/media/407432/standings.pdf
  25. ^ "Round 7 - Standings" (PDF). MotorSportVision Racing. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  26. ^ bebo.com - Profile from Chris Stalker Walker
  27. ^ 2003 Standings Riders - FIM Superbike World Championship - worldsbk.com
  28. ^ Motorcycle Racing Online - World Superbike championship review 2004
  29. ^ Motorcycle Racing Online - 2005 World Superbike statistical summary
  30. ^ World Superbike Championship, 2006 - MotorSM.com
  31. ^ Walker signs for Vent Axia Honda - visordown.com
  32. ^ World Supersport: New Kawasaki signing Chris Walker speaks to MCN - | Motorcycle Sport | WSB | BSB | MotoGP | TT & Road races | MCN

External links

  • Personal Website
  • Column by Chris Walker from 2002
  • Chris Walker full profile
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