Barcelona 500 CC Grand Prix
Catalunya, 17 June 2001
Walker Battles Bravely To Finish In The Points
Shell Advance Honda rider Chris Walker ignored the pain from his injured right arm to finish a courageous thirteenth in the sixth round of the 500cc world championship today.
Walker, in an exhausted state after a physically demanding race run in heat wave conditions, described the 26-lap Catalunya GP as one of the toughest he has completed.
From 17th on the grid Walker made a typically strong start and refused to give in to his energy sapping injury even though from lap twelve he felt numbness and tingling in his arm. The injury was a result of being run over by Johan Stigefelt in an horrific qualifying pile-up on Friday.
Walker rode alone for the Shell Advance Team with teenage teammate Leon Haslam a spectator while he continues to recover from a fractured wrist.
The race, watched by more than 80,000 spectators, featured an all Italian result with Valentino Rossi (Honda), Max Biaggi (Yamaha) and Loris Capirossi (Honda) finishing 1-2-3.
CHRIS WALKER: 13th place World Championship: 17th/8 points
"By the end of the race my arm was numb and tingling, the feeling of pins and needles started from about lap twelve. I'm just very happy to have scored points from what was looking like being a bad weekend. I could grip the handlebars OK but I couldn't really use the throttle the way I normally do and towards the end of the race I was getting out of shape.
"I really wanted to finish this race and get some points. It is hard to say how the bike was because I wasn't 100% fit but I feel we have made some progress especially with the turning into the faster corners. I will not do the Honda test here at Barcelona tomorrow, I will go back home to England and get my arm checked just to make sure there is nothing serious."