Chris Walker (b1972)
Nottingham-born Chris Walker is a British motorcycle road racer and former scrambler with the nickname ‘The Stalker’.
He is a four-time runner-up in the British Superbike Championship and a former race winner in the Superbike World Championship.
For the 2015 season Walker signed for Tommy Hill’s Be Wiser Kawasaki Team aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10R in the British Superbike Championship following his 2014 season with Lloyds British GBmoto squad. Team manager Hill left in August, 2015 and the team folded in September, leaving Walker without a ride for the final two race meetings of the season.
In early 2016, Walker announced he would no longer participate in superbikes, instead switching to the British Sidecar Championship, initially with a two-year contract. With no previous experience, Walker stated he was excited by the future opportunities.
Chris’ father John was the proprietor of John Walker Superbikes, a retail motorcycle dealership in Langley Mill, Nottingham, which also owned Fox’s Kawasaki in Mapperley , and Wraggs Motorcycles in Mansfield.
Chris runs dealership Chris Walker Motorcycles, Harlaxton Road in Grantham. He lives in Ollerton,
Walker only started road racing in 1995 after many years as an accomplished motocross rider, but by the end of that year and into 1996 he rose through the ranks with ease and had ridden in Grands Prix and scored points.
In 1997 he challenged for the prestigious British Superbike championship with Yamaha, finishing as runner-up to experienced team-mate Niall Mackenzie. He switched to Kawasaki for 1998, winning in the season’s first race, before it became clear that the Yamahas of Mackenzie and Steve Hislop were the bikes to beat. Injury to Hislop allowed Walker to take 2nd in the series again, a feat he repeated behind Troy Bayliss’ Ducati in 1999.
In 2005, he joined the PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse team, proving to be the most consistent Kawasaki rider in terms of pace and results, securing one podium finish (3rd place, round 6 at Valencia) and finishing 7th place overall.
2006 saw Walker teamed up with Frenchman Régis Laconi and Spain’s Fonsi Nieto on a Kawasaki Europe backed ZX-10R for PSG. Walker secured his maiden Superbike World Championship race win on 3 September 2006 in Race 1 at Assen, Netherlands in his 131st race. Starting the race in 13th position, and dropping to 26th position at the first corner following an excursion onto the grass, Walker braved the torrential rain and a high rate of attrition to win in a time of 44 minutes, 23.501 seconds. He came 9th overall in the championship, 19 points ahead of Nieto as the highest Kawasaki.
Despite his finishing position, Walker was subsequently dropped by PSG for the 2007 season, while Kawasaki still supported PSG as an official factory team.
In 2010 Walker arranged a deal wirh on a privately run Suzuki tuned by former BSB rider Ray Stringer just a week before the opening round. After two races Walker was offered a ride in the MSS Kawasaki team when Simon Andrews was injured in a crash while guesting in World Superbikes. He returned to the Suzuki once Andrews was fit again, but raced for SMT Honda at Snetterton, scoring the team’s best 2010 results of two sevenths and an eleventh in the process.
After a season with Lloyds British GBmoto on a Kawasaki ZX-10R, for 2015 Walker changed to Be Wiser Kawasaki Team, again riding a ZX-10R, for a team owned by Alan Greig, having Be Wiser Insurance as main sponsor and part-sponsored by Dickies industrial clothing.
As the oldest rider competing in British Superbikes, Walker’s extensive experience with superbike machines and Kawasaki makes him ideal as lead-rider to develop the new squad, partnered by Danny Buchan, fresh from his 2014 success as Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Champion.