Lloyds British GBmoto rider Chris Walker had a mixed weekend at Donington Park this weekend, securing two top 11 finishes, as well as that all important Showdown spot.
|This weekend was all about the Showdown for Walker
Photo: MCE BSB
Heading to this round understanding the importance of the outcome, Walker had been extra careful in his preparation, explaining his nerves in the build up. Coming off the back of a podium at Cadwell Park, it was clear the Nottinghamshire rider was in a strong position for his home circuit. Qualifying in 14th position, ‘Stalker’ left himself with a lot of work to do come race day. An 11th position in the first British Superbike race was enough to secure his position in the Showdown, taking the pressure off him for race two.
Locked in a close battle for eighth position in race two, Walker crossed the line in 10th position and is thrilled with the weekends outcome: “To be honest I’ve been really nervous about this round. With my history at Donington and the similarities of this weekend, I’ve wrapped myself up in cotton wool in the build-up. I’ve not cycled as hard, I ran a little slower on the treadmill and at our test at Assen I kept a bit behind just so I wouldn’t risk hurting myself ahead of this round.
The weekend itself has been awesome, there’s no doubt I’ve been riding a bit tense so the results probably aren’t what they should be. We came here with a job to do though and we did it! Getting in the Showdown probably means more to me than most guys in the paddock, and I can’t put into words how happy I am, not just for me but for the team too. They made a big change over the winter and showed a lot of faith in me so I’m glad I can repay their faith with a Showdown position that they deserve.”
Injured team-mate James Ellison continued his stunning comeback following his horrific Brands Hatch crash, finishing both races in the top 14.
After struggling at the physically demanding Cadwell Park, Ellison took the next two weeks to continue his preparation and came back stronger at Donington. Starting race one from 15th position, Ellison put in a solid effort and was able to score points under the sunny skies, despite struggling with his tyre choice.
Putting his all into race two, and with a better tyre choice the Kawasaki rider was able to put up a great fight and cross the line in a stunning 11th position, one behind his team-mate.
Ellison: “I’m relieved the weekend’s over and we’ve managed to get some points back on the board. I’ll admit I came into the weekend with higher expectations so am a little disappointed with the results, as it’s not where I should be or where the bike should be. That’s just the racer in me though and given my fitness level, this is a good result.
The weekend as a whole has been good, I’ve dug deep in every session and we’ve improved with every lap. We probably made the wrong decision on the tyre in the opening race, I ran an SC1 and a few of the guys around us had the 0. With the temperature going up for the second race we put the softer 0 in and had a strong race. It took me a bit of time to get used to it and I got a duffed up in the opening laps but then was able to catch and pass a lot of people so I’m chuffed!”