Chris Walker will embark on his 11th season of British Superbike Championship racing in 2013 after confirming he will remain with Bournemouth Kawasaki, where he will be joined by youngster Danny Buchan.
A series veteran of 233 BSB races, Walker scored the most recent of his 21 career wins this year with a popular victory in the damp at Oulton Park, a performance that helped him to ninth place in the overall standings.
Spurred on by that result, Walker is confident he can challenge for a spot in next year's 'Title Showdown' aboard the championship-winning Kawasaki ZX-10R.
“I love racing in BSB and I am absolutely chuffed to be back on the grid in 2013 with Kawasaki. The numbers tell the story; Kawasaki won the BSB and both Superstock titles which is a massive achievement and I feel that we can only continue to move forward. Last year was the team's first season in BSB and we won a race, which was an amazing feat. I think if it hadn't been for the crash at Knockhill we would have been in with a shot of the Showdown so that bodes well for 2013.
“It is great to be team-mates with Danny as I think we will be able to push each other all season and to have someone young and talented like him in the garage means I can pass on some of my experience as I was fortunate enough to have that at the start of my career. It will be the youngest versus oldest, tallest versus smallest in our garage but I can't wait as it should be a great season!”
Former Superstock 1000 front runner Buchan, meanwhile, will join the BSB series full-time after a part-season campaign on the MSS Bathams Kawasaki, during which he managed a best finish of fourth place at Cadwell Park.
“I am so happy to be back riding a Kawasaki, especially to be in BSB full time as that has always been one of my goals. It will be my first full season in the championship but I think working with the Bournemouth Kawasaki team and Chris will help me make progress all the time.
“I wasn't very lucky last season but I think we can turn things around next year and we know that the Kawasaki is capable of winning races so we need to get ready and come out with a big boom at Brands Hatch!”
In addition to retaining Walker and signing Buchan, Bournemouth Racing will be the official partner of Kawasaki UK in 2013 for the first time, a deal that gives team owner Peter Extance high hopes for the future.
“2013 is a very exciting year for Bournemouth Kawasaki having secured the title of the official Kawasaki UK BSB team and it is now down to us to put together a complete package and team worthy of the title. We have entrusted Chris Walker, who this year gave me 110 % every time he rode the motorcycle, and we felt unlucky not to make the Showdown.
“He is a true professional and will be a great asset especially to Danny Buchan, who despite his young age has already shown great potential on a Superbike. We feel that it won't be long before he is knocking on the door of podium finishes. I also want to thank all of our sponsors and look forward to working with them again in 2013.”