Walker tops first practice

Published: 14 October 2003

Chris Walker has topped the time sheets in the first practice session for the last round of the World Superbike championship this weekend.

Walker and HM Plant Ducati team-mate James Toseland dominated the session, holding on to the top two spots for most of the practice. But it was Walker that came out on top at the end of the hour-long session with a best time of 1:42.182, a new qualifying lap record.

Gregorio Lavilla was the only man to threaten the HM Plant riders, taking his Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 briefly to the top spot before he was relegated to third by the Ducati riders in the closing laps.

Neil Hodgson got off to a slow start on the Ducati 999 spending most of the session in the middle of the field. But he upped the pace a little in the last 10 minutes to finish with the fourth fastest time, beating the Ducati 998 of Regis Laconi by just 0.031 seconds.

Frankie Chili took sixth place, 0.22 seconds behind Laconi. Steve Martin and Ruben Xaus completed the top eight.

The only British wildcard, Renegade Ducati rider Leon Haslam, took his Ducati 998 to the 13th fastest time.

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