On paper Chris Walker’s 12th place finish at Assen last weekend was nothing to shout about, but a closer look at the race reveals a different story and shows the progress he is making.
The Gil Kawasaki rider may have only been fighting for the minor points, but he finished the race just 4.83 seconds behind the winner Andrew Pitt after 21 laps of the 2.82 mile Dutch circuit.
On lap six Walker was down in 16th place and already over five seconds off the lead, but ten laps later he was up to 13th having reeled in Pitt, Rea, Jones and co. by two seconds and was sitting just three seconds off the front.
Speaking to MCN, Walker said: “The result doesn’t really reflect how I rode. All race I could see between P12 to P16 on my pit board, but at the same time I could still see the leader.
“I did some really good lap times but I just couldn’t get past the Triumph of Mark Atchison.
“The bike has felt good though and it’s the first time I’ve really been able to race it properly and ride it hard in every corner of every lap of the race.
“It’s easily the best the bike has felt so I feel that we’ve made a big step forward.”
Walker now has just days to prepare for next weekend race at the high speed Monza circuit in Northern Italy where big BHP will be crucial.
Chris Walker’s PSG-1 Kawasaki team use the same engine developer as the factory Kawasaki World Superbike team of Makoto Tamada and Regis Laconi - Akira Engineering.
Currently the Kawasaki PSG-1 Superbike squad pushing Akira a lot to boost the performance of the ZX-10R, which means that Walker’s Supersport crew could have to wait for a new specification engine.
Walker said: “In Assen I didn’t have enough speed so the only time I could overtake was when someone made a mistake. The Yamaha accelerates really well and the others seem to have more top speed so we just need power in general.
“It’s going to be tough at Monza unless we get some more speed.”