British 500cc Grand Prix Donington Race, 8 July Walker Finishes In The Points, Haslam Disappointed Shell Advance Honda rider Chris Walker was distressed and exhausted after a brave ride into fifteenth place before home fans in the British 500...
British 500cc Grand Prix
Race, 8 July
Walker Finishes In The Points, Haslam Disappointed
Shell Advance Honda rider Chris Walker was distressed and exhausted after a brave ride into fifteenth place before home fans in the British 500 Grand Prix.
There was disappointment for his teenage teammate Leon Haslam who finished 17th after surviving two off-track excursions in a dramatic 30 lap race on the demanding Donington circuit.
Walker was shattered as he slumped into a chair in the Shell garage after completing a 45 minute GP just a week after being hospitalised with concussion at the Dutch TT.
Walker had to pass three medical examinations to be cleared for a race that was one of the toughest of his career. After scoring a season best qualifying position of 14th, Walker started strongly but rode much of the race from "memory" on his home circuit.
Haslam was hopeful of joining his Shell teammate in the points with a top 15 result and was poised to that with 12 laps remaining when he ran wide at Coppice Corner just after being passed by British rival Jay Vincent.
The race was won Valentino Rossi (Honda), his fifth victory of the season.
CHRIS WALKER 15th -- Championship 18th/9 points
"After five laps I was just struggling to concentrate but I always knew this was going to be tough after what happened at Assen last week. I was missing my braking points and the corner apexes and towards the end of the race I just went straight on at the esses at the end of the back straight and that's when Jay Vincent passed me. I just wanted to get through the race without making any big mistakes especially when the rear tyre grip went away."
LEON HASLAM 17th -- Championship 19th/6 points
"It's frustrating because I had a chance of finishing in the points today. After I ran onto the grass at McLeans early in the race I was catching up to Chris and Westy on the other twin. Then when I caught them Jay Vincent came past and going into Coppice I had to go wide to miss running into him. I had some problems with rear end grip but I think the other guys did as well. I was comfortable doing 1m 34s early in the race but the pace dropped to 36s when the tyres went off a little.
"Early in the race at McLeans I was about 10 mph too fast on the inside of Chris just as he banked in for the corner and as I got off the brakes I just ran wide. I'm a little disappointed, to be honest, but it's only a matter of time before I'll be back in the points."