Chris Walker in his own words

Published: 01 July 2001

The following is a full transcript of the conversation between Chris Walker and motorcyclenews.com users in the VIP Lounge in Talk Bikes on July 5, 2001. Where " MCN " precedes the questions, it means this is a question which was put by a motorcyclenews.com user.

MCN: Hi, Hope your feeling well and hope that you can race on Sunday. I read that you had hoped Ron Haslam would team mate you while Leon recovered. That led me to think, who would be your ideal team mate, from both the current and past racers?

Chris Walker: Whitham. That's someone I’ve always wanted to be teammate of. I’ve had mega teammates before, but he's the guy I’d like to team up with before the end of time. It’s because of his riding, and he's a top bloke. He's also very competitive, so it'd do us both good.

MCN: There are rumours that Honda won't let you change the NSR to suit your riding style - how true are they?

Chris Walker: 100%. At the end of the day we've got a semi-factory V4, and the factory makes the parts...the parts aren't available to change it. It isn’t like a road biek where you can change settings, to make the changes we need, you need to change the bike you need the parts.

MCN: How are you finding the 500s, and do you miss 4 strokes?

Chris Walker: I`m getting used to the bike slowly but surely. It's taking more time because I`m having to adapt my style to the bike, rather than adapting the bike to suit me. Anything you've been successful at, you miss doing, so I do miss superbikes

MCN: Best of luck at the weekend if you race! Have the team got any closer to understanding why your NSR's seem to be lacking power?

Chris Walker: Not really, no. There's no real reason why it should be the slowest one out there. As far as I’m aware they don't really make good and bad NSR's. It’s just something we're missing along the way maybe

MCN: After finishing in good positions almost all of last year, Is motivation a problem when you find yourself down the order (somewhat) this year?

Chris Walker: Definitely not motivation. It's confidence at times. Having so many offs basically. Motivations no problem. I’m still training hard, and trying hard.

MCN: Do you get on with all the "Top" guys, Biaggi etc

Chris Walker: The honest answer is I don't actually know them that well. They generally keep themselves to themselves because when they come out of their motorhomes they are so popular they get mobbed. When I’ve seen them around they smile and acknowledge me but I haven't really had time to get to know any of them.

MCN: Chris, I was wondering if you agreed with the saying about the best riders always crashing when they change classes and then learning how to stay fast without crashing!

Chris Walker: I hope that's how it is!

MCN: Chris, if Honda won't allow you to change the bike to suit you, what will happen next year.... more unsuitable 2 stroke or maybe a more suitable 4 stroker?

Chris Walker: I haven't really given next year a thought as yet. I came to GP's because four strokes are coming next year. It's been tough, but I`m still here, learning the tracks, looking at next year getting on a competitive four stroke, hopefully in GPs

MCN: Chris, would testing in Suzuka before the started help you be further up the field by now?

Chris Walker: It would have definitely helped, actually at Suzuka. Whether it would help now, I don't know, but chances are it would have helped, and I wouldn't have broken my shoulder and I might have been doing better know...but we'll never know

MCN: If there was a massive scrap between Biaggi and Rossi would you wade in?

Chris Walker: Erm....no probably not. If they were both injured, I`d be two more places up the grid!!!

MCN: Who will you be betting on this weekend?

Chris Walker: You'd have to say Rossi on current form, also Biaggi and Kenny Roberts.

MCN: Who is the wackiest rider in the GP paddock, and why?

Chris Walker: I think Capirossi is pretty wild and wacky...I like him. Anyone that goes round that track as fast as he does in qualifying has to be raving bonkers!

MCN: Do you ever get scared?

Chris Walker: Generally not, but you do get the odd flutter. You don't get scared but you get the rollercoaster ride feeling if you know what I mean.

MCN: Do you own a roadbike?

Chris Walker: I always have at least one or two around. At least one of the latest sportsbikes.

MCN: Do you feel you have improved as rider, racing against the best riders in the world?

Chris Walker: Looking at current form.....probably not! I’ve definitely got better at crashing. I can crash now better than ever before! At this stage, I’ve crashed so much, I’d say no...it's confidence that makes a rider good, and it does take a little bit of a beating when you jump off a few times

MCN: If you could try out ,or use, any other riders bike which one would it be and why?

Chris Walker: McCoys. Because when you watch him rides, he rides more like I used to ride a four stroke, so I think his bike would suit me.

MCN: The accident at the weekend looked pretty catastrophic - how do you feel right now and can you confirm you'll be racing on Sunday?

Chris Walker: Right now, I feel a bit beaten up, and like I’ve had a big night out without the lipstick on my collar to prove it and as soon as this is over, I’m going off to the medical centre, so that's when I find out.

MCN: Are you looking forward to riding a four stroke next season?

Chris Walker: At this stage, I don't know whether I’ll be offered one, but yeah, I can't wait.

MCN: Do you still follow BSB? and do you think Hizzy or J.R is gonna get the title?

Chris Walker: Still following 100%. Of all the people that started I figured Hizzy was the one to beat, but the man that has impressed me most is Shakey, doing what he's doing on an out of date bike.

MCN: were there any personnel from the previous team that went with you to GP

Chris Walker: Les, my number one mechanic for the last three years. But because the team lease the bikes from Honda, Honda have a big say with who works on the bike, so Les works with me, but not on the bike, which is a shame..

MCN: Who has the most potential in GP’s?

Chris Walker: I think actually, at the moment, probably Capirossi...he's definitely not on the best bike out there, and he's still doing the business

MCN: Is it true about GP bikes and how little engine braking they have compared to you old GSXR?

Chris Walker: Yeah, actually the Hondas have got more than most, and it's still virtually nonexistant compared to a superbike.

MCN: Do you get angry with yourself after falling or just pissed off?

Chris Walker: A bit of both depending on the circumstances..

MCN: Is it true Shell Advanced need another sponsor quick?

Chris Walker: I understand they are actively considering more sponsors

MCN: Hey, Chris, Scotty here from ChrisStalkerWalker.com, We always loved your flying starts on the Suzuki, have you found the secret of getting the NSR off the grid?

Chris Walker: I have, but I’m always qualifying that far back, you need binoculars to see the lights from where I am.

MCN: What does Les, your mechanic, say about the GP bikes – technically?

Chris Walker: He thinks they suck...he's not allowed to alter anything

MCN: Will you still be at Donnington signing stuff if you ain't racing, coz' if I go I'll have to bunk of work and I've got some stuff that needs signing!

Chris Walker: As long as you buy me a beer or two, I’ll be sat on the bank with you!

MCN: Who's your target rider to get past realistically at this stage...Van de Goerburg??

Chris Walker: Haga

MCN: Chris how are you finding all the travelling around the world between the time zones

Chris Walker: It’s been cool, I’ve enjoyed the travelling, it's been fun. Just not enough time between racing to sit around and sightsee.

MCN: Nial Mackenzie used to say that the difference between a superbike and GP bike meant you could read a paper on the superbike. Do things happen that much faster on the 500?

Chris Walker: They definitely do when you are falling off! They don't give you any warning basically and you always arrive at the next corner before you have time to get over the last one!

MCN: If it was any round other than the British GP at Donington, would you have pulled out already?

Chris Walker: I’ve no idea. It’s been a long while since I’ve missed a race apart from Assen when I wasn't let out the hospital until after the start. But it makes it harder when you've been looking forward to a race for so long.

MCN: Are you losing time on the other bikes down the straights or on the corners? Chris Walker: Definitely a bit of both.. In the gravel mainly!!!!!!!!

MCN: What do you think of Vincent geeting a ride on McCoy's bike?

Chris Walker: I think it's fantastic, I think it's really good and I hear he was testing the bike yesterday and things went quite well

MCN: Which bit of your old GSXR would you like to put on your NSR if you could?

Chris Walker: The bit that makes it steer! The steering on the Suzuki was fantastic.

MCN: Do you consciously rear wheel steer your NSR or your old Gixxer and do you slide the front into corners or is that a myth?

Chris Walker: Definitely did a bit on the Suzuki, on the front but not consciously on either, but I haven't been able to get away with it so far on the Michelins. It's more a style, more than a conscious effort to do it.

MCN: Which has been you most favourite track abroad so far?

Chris Walker: Assen. I was there for the first day, and it's one of my favourite tracks anyway from Superbikes, and it was just as good on a 500. It was a real shame to have to miss the race.

MCN: What will you do during the mid-season break?

Chris Walker: I`ll probably need to go to a health farm the way things have been going! I`ll visit as many of the British biker races as possible, and try to catch up with everyone cos I’ve been a bit busy; and hopefully some testing and training as well..

MCN: in one word, how would you sum up the season so far?

Chris Walker: Pants!

MCN: In this difficult season, is it hard to find positives in so many negatives?

Chris Walker: You've got to find them. Essentially, the thing that makes me tick is riding motorcycles. And the brolly girls obviously!

MCN: who's your favourite pit lane babe ?

Chris Walker: errrrrrrrr. Generally speaking, the West girls, have been special all year

MCN: Are you tempted to start a brawl with Rossi or Biaggi to make sure you get loads of coverage? it seems to work well for them... the series needs more characters like you?

Chris Walker: It's become close with marshals, but no riders just yet..

MCN: Is there any young talent you think is coming up through the ranks that will should keep an eye on?

Chris Walker: In England, definitely Shakey. Grand Prix, you have to say Elias, and myself of course...I’m not there just yet. And obviously Leon's worth a mention!