British rider Chris Walker scored a career best twelfth place aboard the Shell Advance Honda in today's French Grand Prix. After weeks of frustration with crashes and niggling injuries Walker put in a confidence boosting performance after ...
British rider Chris Walker scored a career best twelfth place aboard the Shell Advance Honda in today's French Grand Prix.
After weeks of frustration with crashes and niggling injuries Walker put in a confidence boosting performance after qualifying sixteenth. Walker was the sole Shell Advance rider in the race with young Leon Haslam sidelined with a broken arm suffered when he crashed in Friday practice.
Walker was determined to get a good result and he delivered on his pre-race prediction of a top twelve finish. He decided on an ambitious tyre choice, using a softer compound, in a bid to get on the pace and make up time from the fourth row of the grid early in the race.
The strategy worked when he overcame the challenge of Spanish rider Jose Luis Cardoso and then settled into a consistent pace holding 12th place over the final seventeen laps.
The 28 lap race was won by Max Biaggi (Yamaha) who ended the winning streak of Honda rival Valentino Rossi before a record crowd.
Twelfth place Championship: 16th/ 5 points
"That result has done my confidence a lot of good. The only way to get race fit is to get to the finish and that's first time this season my shoulder hasn't worried me, I've been struggling for strength.
"My Honda felt a lot more settled here and I decided to use a softer rear tyre so I could get on the pace in the opening laps."
"Cardoso was quick early on and by the time I got past him my tyres had gone off and were spinning up pretty bad so it got a bit lonely towards the end riding by myself.
"I wanted a top 12 finish and I got it which is a good feeling after my teammate Leon Haslam broke his arm in practice. Now I want to capitalise on this at the next race in Mugello where I've never been before except to be a spectator."