Chris Walker was in a buoyant mood after shrugging off a lack of pre-season testing to post a strong top ten finish aboard a privateer Suzuki during the opening round of the 2010 MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

The 20-time BSB race winner only confirmed he would be on the grid in the days leading up to the opening round, Walker revealing he will ride an independently-prepared GSX-R1000 under the CW Racing banner.

With no opportunity to test and the prospect of a large field, Walker faced stiff opposition when he ventured onto the bike for the first time, but not only did he prove competitively mid-field throughout the weekend, he broke into the top ten during the first race with a ninth place finish.

"Race one was mega, the bike was brilliant, I had great grip and a huge amount of power as well as good settings. Mid-race my tyres started to go off so I had to learn to control it again as we don't have traction control. I got duffed up a bit at the start by the Superbike Evo riders so I made sure I avoided them next time round. Top ten, first time out with no testing - respect is due.

Unfortunately for him, while an even better result was in the offing in race two, an error by former Rob Mac Racing team-mate Dan Linfoot at Graham Hill Bend would eliminate both riders and leave Walker with a hefty repair bill.

"Race two was going really well, I'd just done a 46.1sec lap when I got taken out. I'm a bit battered and sore but nothing serious. It's a real shame as I was catching up on the riders in front and I was on course for a fifth place finish."

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