After a six year absence, Chris Walker returns to British Superbike action in the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this Bank Holiday Monday, April 9th, riding an all-new Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 and determined to establish himself as a title contender from the outset.
A four-time runner up in the British Superbike Championship, fans' favourite Stalker has spent the last half dozen years battling in the Grand Prix and World Superbike Championships. The 35-year-old returns to British Superbikes with the Suzuki team he finished runner-up with in 2000 and is eager to go one better this year.
Reigning British Supersport Champion Cal Crutchlow lines up for his first ever British Superbike race on his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 at Brands Hatch. The 21-year-old is one of the hottest young talents in British racing and is ready to seize his opportunity to show what he can do in the most competitive National Superbike Championship in the world.
Both Stalker and Cal have enjoyed a successful pre-season developing the new Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 into a Superbike racer. Using the challenging 2.60-mile long GP circuit at the historic Brands Hatch venue in Kent, Superbike racing starts at 1230 on Monday, April 9th. On the same day it will be shown on ITV4 at 1600, ITV1 at 2245 and on Sky Sports 3 at 2100.
"The talking and testing stop here - it's time to race and I am very excited about the opening round at Brands Hatch. It's been six years away for me and I am looking forward to racing full-time in front of the British fans again - they are the best in the world.
"Our pre-season testing has been good and Rizla Suzuki has thrown the kitchen sink at getting the new GSX-R1000 ready in time for the opening round. I have unfinished business with this Championship and after collecting runners-up spot four times in a row, I really want to make the break to the top step of the podium. Realistically that means I need to be on the pace right from the opening race; so I'll be giving it my all at Brands."
"I've always dreamed of being a Superbike racer and now it is coming true and I will be making my British Championship debut at Brands Hatch. Testing with Rizla Suzuki has been good and at all the circuits I have been close on the timesheets to my team mate and the other title contenders which has boosted my confidence.
"I don't know what to expect this weekend but I'll be bringing all of the determination, skill and application to the races that I used to win the British Supersport Championship in 2006. This is my chance to make my mark in motorcycle racing and I'm not about to let it slip by."
Simon Buckmaster, Team Manager:
"Rizla Suzuki, Chris Walker and Cal Crutchlow are in excellent shape and ready to race. Our test programme has been positive and we have improved the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 every step of the way. We are hopeful that we can continue our forward momentum and convert it into good results at Brands Hatch this Monday.
"It's been hard work developing the all-new GSX-R1000 into a racer capable of winning in such a short period of time but we think we are close. It's going to be an exciting weekend of racing and I'm hoping the fans will turn out in force to cheer Chris, Cal and the Rizla Suzuki team on. See you all at the races."