P90 Chris Walker makes promis­ing start to new side­car ca­reer, but says he’s got a lot to learn Guy to ride clas­sic Scot­tish two day trial 100-PAGE SPE­CIAL EDI­TION

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling - SPORTS EDITOR michael.guy@mo­tor­cy­cle­

“I’m def­i­nitely not a nat­u­ral, but I’m dig­ging in!” That was Chris Walker’s typ­i­cally hon­est appraisal of the first ever test of the San­tander Salt Kawasaki he’ll be rac­ing in the Bri­tish Side­car cham­pi­onship in 2016.

Af­ter an epic 20-year ca­reer that has spanned BSB, WSB and 500GPS, Walker will make the in­trigu­ing switch to side­cars this year. In his first test at the Cir­cuit de Vi­enne in France, Walker and his pas­sen­ger, Jed Pil­moor-brady, com­pleted more than 100 laps over the course of three-and-a-half days last week.

Speak­ing to MCN, the for­mer BSB run­ner-up and WSB race win­ner said: “Noth­ing can pre­pare you for what it’s like to ride. The cor­ner speed is amaz­ing but it’s been a lot more pleas­ant than I ex­pected!”

Un­like his last two decades of rac­ing, when Walker has known ex­actly what to ex­pect when he gets on his race bike, this sea­son prom­ises to be very dif­fer­ent.


“Go­ing round left hand cor­ners is a black art! You have to trust your pas­sen­ger to get into the right po­si­tion, oth­er­wise you’re not go­ing to make it round! I also didn’t ex­pect the ac­cel­er­a­tion to feel like a Su­per­bike be­cause there is a lot more weight, but it’s in­cred­i­bly sim­i­lar be­cause they have so much more grip and you can open the gas way be­fore the apex – or at least that’s what I’m sup­posed to be do­ing!”

His bap­tism of fire into his new world as a side­car racer saw him have a cou­ple of off-track ex­cur­sions, but ul­ti­mately take big strides each and ev­ery time he went out on track.

“I did scare my­self a cou­ple of times – but in a good way! Be­fore this test, I’d never done a lap on a side­car be­fore, but I was able to get to a pretty good level quickly, al­though I’ve still got a moun­tain to climb. I’ve ended up go­ing about two sec­onds a lap faster each day and while I haven’t em­bar­rassed my­self with the pace, I’m a long way off win­ning races! When Guy Martin’s wall of death world record at­tempt, live on TV on Easter Mon­day, is over (see page 22) the Lin­colnshire man has signed up for some­thing a lit­tle less in­tense – the forth­com­ing Clas­sic Pre-65 Scot­tish Two Day trial. Guy will be the guest of hon­our in the event for bikes pre-dat­ing 1965.

The event takes place from April 29-30, prior to the pres­ti­gious Scot­tish Six Day Trial for mod­ern ma­chin­ery.

In a year where Guy has shelved plans to race at the TT in favour of com­pet­ing in the 2500-mile Tour Di­vide moun­tain bike race in Amer­ica, the clas­sic trial gives him a chance to at least scratch the itch when it comes to mo­tor­cy­cle com­pe­ti­tion. best around the 2.341-mile track.

“I have learnt loads. It’s helped be­ing out on track with the best in the world. I’ve gen­uinely en­joyed it and it’s prob­a­bly been one of my most en­joy­able win­ter tests ever.

“There was one time I thought I was go­ing fast, but then Tim Reeves came around the out­side of me. Be­fore he even got to the apex he was smok­ing his rear tyre and then his pas­sen­ger waved at me! So it’s fair to say I haven’t reached the limit!”

Walker is plan­ning fur­ther test­ing in the UK be­fore mak­ing his side­car rac­ing de­but at the MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike round at Oul­ton Park on April 30 to May 2.

‘I did scare my­self a cou­ple of times – but in a

good way!’

Walker went two sec­onds quicker ev­ery day dur­ing four-day test Cor­ners are a whole new ball game Walker and Pil­moor-brady did 100+ laps Can Walker em­u­late his solo suc­cess?

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