Walker defies pain during Silverstone qualifying for FPR Chris Walker overcame the agony of three fractured ribs to qualify in 13th place for tomorrow's races in the sixth round of the Superbike World Championship at his home circuit of ...
Walker defies pain during Silverstone qualifying for FPR
Chris Walker overcame the agony of three fractured ribs to qualify in 13th place for tomorrow's races in the sixth round of the Superbike World Championship at his home circuit of Silverstone.
Both he and team-mate Troy Corser bettered their weekend's previous best by half a second in the Superpole one-lap shoot-out for the top 16 grid positions, with the Australian producing another faultless lap to qualify on the second row in sixth.
Chris, who survived a fire on his bike yesterday morning, high-sided at the Priory section just two laps into the morning's qualifying session. While receiving painkilling injections in the medical centre he slipped to 16th place in the standings and his place in Superpole was in doubt.
But he rushed back to the garage with 10 minutes remaining and was able to fight off the challenge of David Garcia to retain 16th. The gutsy 32-year-old completed 15 laps of the afternoon free practice before posting his best time of the weekend of 1:56.118 during Superpole. That was enough to improve his qualifying position to 13th, with Regis Laconi claiming pole position, and was a tantalising three hundredths of a second off a third row start.
Chris said: "I didn't want painkillers for the afternoon session because my arm felt like someone else's when I went back out in the morning. I am desperate for a good start tomorrow and hopefully the adrenaline will kick, which is always the best painkiller. The last section, with the slow last chicane, is causing me the most difficulty and I was having chatter on the qualifying tyres, but only in the slow corners, where it is not the end of the world. But I have missed so much track time during these two days that I am struggling for set-up and, because I can't ride very hard, it was hard to tell whether our changes were working or not."
Troy, having qualified for Superpole in fifth place, was also able to improve his previous best lap, set during afternoon free practice despite also suffering a slow crash when his foot-peg clipped the kerb through the tight final chicane, by half a second. He finished just over a tenth of a second off the front row and was second fastest only to Laconi through the final split.
Troy said: "My Superpole lap was about as fast as I could do, as I got every corner right. I maybe got on the gas a little too early coming out of the final chicane and, while I got more drive I also had more spin. But I am pretty happy on race tyres and know I can do consistent lap times. Whether those times will be fast enough we will have to wait and see. I am hoping to go out on an engine which is slightly faster in the warm-up tomorrow and see if we can improve the set-up for it from today."
Superpole results, Superbike World Championship round five, Oschersleben, Germany: 1 Laconi 1:54.331; 2 Vermeulen +0.312; 3 Haga +0.481; 4 Toseland +0.645; 5 Haslam +0.707; 6 Corser +0.782; 7 Ellison +0.945; 8 Martin +1.107; 9 Borciani +1.471; 10 Pedercini +1.741; 11 McCoy +1.742; 12 Sanchini +1.759; 13 Walker +1.787; 14 Clementi +2.047; 15 Nanelli +2.236; 16 Chili DNF
Saturday free practice times: 1 Haga 1:54.584; 2 Laconi 1:55.083; 3 Haslam 1:55.133; 4 Vermeulen 1:55.133; 5 Martin 1:55.316; 6 Chili 1:55.360; 7 Toseland 1:55.666; 8 Corser 1:55.694; 9 Sanchini 1:55.801; 10 Ellison 1:56.006; 18 Walker 1:57.209
Saturday qualifying times (Best qualifying time in brackets): 1 Chili (PSG-1) 1:54.794; 2 Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda) 1:54.796; 3 Laconi (Ducati Fila) 1:54.799; 4 Haga (Renegade Ducati) 1:56.113 (1:55.522); 5 Corser (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:55.839; 6 Toseland (Ducati Fila) 1:55.870; 7 Martin (DFX) 1:55.892; 8 Nannelli (Team Pedercini) 1:56.360 (1:55.932); 9 McCoy (Xerox Ducati) 1:55.939; 10 Borciani (DFX) 1:55.977 (1:56.738); 16 Walker (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:56.678 (1:56.621)