Just one day after being confirmed as riding for the Foggy Petronas team in the 2004 WSBK championship, Chris Walker made his FP1 debut, at the Valencia test, yesterday (Wednesday).

The Englishman joined team-mate Troy Corser for the first time on Pirelli tyres, which will be used by all teams next year, but concentrated more on the feel of the three-cylinder than the new rubber (Walker used Dunlops in 2003).

The former HM Plant Ducati star completed 60 laps, setting a best time of 1min 38.3secs, just 0.6secs behind former series champ Corser.

"I've just been familiarising with the bike and the way the team works today," said 'The Stalker'. "The first day at the office is always very different. But I already know that the bike does certain things very well. All I can do at this early stage is use Troy as a benchmark and I was only around half a second behind him which is very encouraging. The new tyres were the least of my worries today. I can concentrate on them when I know the bike a bit better."

Meanwhile, Corser - who rode with Michelins all this season - was in a position to compare the new tyres, and admitted there were a few teething troubles.

"The tyres do feel different to the Michelins - actually a bit more like Dunlops - and we both struggled with a bit of chatter at the front and rear," said the Aussie. "But this is only to be expected on our first day on them, and we are a full day behind the factory Ducati guys, who were out yesterday here. We played around with constructions and compounds and we have a few more options to try (on Thursday)."

The best lap times on Pirellis were around 1.5-1.8secs slower than the fastest circulation by Ducati Fila rider Neil Hodgson, riding with Michelins, at the circuit earlier this season.

The Foggy Petronas test concludes today (Thursday).

 

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