Quattro Plant Kawasaki Walker’s Showdown challenge blunted at Brands.
Quattro Plant Kawasaki and Chris Walker’s challenge for a top six Showdown position in the 2013 British Superbike Championship suffered a blow at Brands Hatch on Sunday when the Nottingham rider failed to finish both races, firstly being the victim of another rider’s crash and secondly being forced out with a technical problem.
Continuing the fine form that had taken him to four top six finishes in the previous five races, Chris was again right on the pace during practice and qualifying, ending Saturday’s qualifying session in a strong seventh place.
A customary good start to Sunday’s opening 18-lap race saw him move up to fifth place and everything was going to plan until the seventh lap. Maintaining his fifth place, Chris was hit from behind by James Ellison going into Graham Hill Bend, the subsequent collision sending both riders crashing into the grass and out of the race.
Eager to put the disappointment behind him, Chris lined up again on the second row for race two and in an almost carbon copy of the first race, another good start saw him running strongly towards the front of the pack. Seventh on the opening lap, Chris was running close behind Ryuichi Kiyonari and PJ Jacobsen when he suddenly began to slow on the third lap and a lap later he was forced to retire.
With James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham both scoring heavily, the results from the weekend mean that the Buildbase BMW duo now lie in joint sixth place overall on 100 pts with Chris slipping back to eighth on 75.
There was disappointment too for team-mates Danny Buchan and Kyle Wilks. Buchan was forced out of the first Superbike race with just three laps to go and it meant he was unable to take his place on the grid for the second race whilst Wilks crashed out of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship race on the final lap when running in an excellent seventh place.
Pete Extance, Team Manager: “The team went to Brands, full of optimism that Chris would get back into the Showdown places and Danny would find his confidence and turn his season around. Chris was well on course for a top six finish in the first race until he was taken down by an over-enthusiastic rider, leaving the bike needing a full rebuild. The technicians worked wonders to get Chris out for race two only to be stopped by a fuel pump issue so it was very disappointing. Likewise for Danny who had a real caliper bracket fail near to the end of the race and his bad luck continues.” “Kyle showed real potential from 20th on the grid to work his way up to 7th but, unfortunately, lost the front at Surtees on the last lap in the Superstock 1000cc race. With a short break before round seven, the team will regroup and work hard to be prepared for Oulton Park. Thanks again to all our sponsors for all their help and support and let’s hope we have a bit of luck at Oulton.” The next round of the series takes place in three weeks time at Oulton Park, Cheshire on August 9-11. Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Phil Wain Freelance PR
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