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Chris Walker returns to top step of podium at Oulton Park

Victorious Chris Walker returns to top step of rostrum with clinical ride in difficult conditions at Oulton Park
Veteran Chris Walker wound back the years with a stunning performance in mixed conditions to claim his first MCE British Superbike race win in 12 long years at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

The Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki rider battled his way through to fourth place from his third row start by the start of lap three and set about reeling in leader Shane 'Shakey' Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R.

He first passed reigning British champion Tommy Hill on the Swan Yamaha before setting his sights on Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes, who was over two seconds in front, with Byrne a further 2.6s clear as he set the pace in the damp conditions.

The front three broke clear of the chasing pack of Hill, Stuart Easton on the second Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty, Patric Muff, Tyco Suzuki's Alastair Seeley and Tommy Bridewell.

Byrne stretched his lead to 3.4s over Brookes after eight laps, but the Aussie was beginning to come under pressure from Walker and as the pair increased the tempo, they began to reduce the deficit to the leader.

Wet weather specialist Michael Rutter, who had been fastest during the wet qualifying session prior to the race on his MSS Bathams Kawasaki, crashed out unhurt at Druids.

Walker made a move on Brookes at Knickerbrook but couldn't make it stick and the Tyco Suzuki ace regained second position, albeit temporarily as Walker eventually forged his way through and began to eat into Byrne's lead.

By lap 15, Walker was now riding in Byrne's wheel tracks and with the smell of victory in his nostrils he made a clinical move at Island to snatch the lead.

Walker pulled away in the closing stages of the race to win by 1.8s from Byrne, with Brookes finishing 4.212s behind the winner to secure a podium for the Northern Ireland Tyco Suzuki outfit.

It was Walker's first return to the BSB rostrum since Donington Park in 2009.

Hill came home in a lonely fourth place on his YZF-R1, almost 15 seconds in arrears.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Chris Walker - Jamie Morris
James Ellison on the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki
Stuart Easton - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Costello - Halsall Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot - Quatto Plant Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chris Walker - GBmoto Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chris Walker - GBmoto Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Ben Wilson - Gearlink Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Barry Burrell - WD-40 Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell - Milwaukee Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Stuart Easton - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Rutter - Bathams BMW [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
James Ellison - GBmoto Kawasaki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Keith Farmer - PR Kawasaki [pic credit: British Superbikes]
Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki

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