I was and still am kinda skeptical about his move into GP's, but I wish him all the best. Walker, stay on the bike and do the best you can. It's like Ben Bostrom said, "you just roll on smoothly and before you know it you're flat out."
I've read through the keith code riding books, and I'm wondering how Chris Walkers style differers or enhances the material presented in there.
What about his riding did his instructor notice he did well, to suggest he become a racer. What does he excel at?
In particular in this excerpt he hints somewhat at what he does through a turn -- anyone have more comments?
MO: One of our readers writes in, "can you tell us what it feels like going 190mph and approaching a corner?"
CW: That's easy, I just shut my eyes! Nah, really on the Suzuki I would set the bike and control the slide of the rear tire and set the bike at the apex and get the bike upright and get on the power. It took me awhile to perfect it, I just haven't managed to do it on a 500.
No doubt that Walker was a phenomenal superbike racer in the British Supers. I think he'll get his ass handed to him in GP. With so many riders (Roberts, Rossi, Biaggi, Checa, Abe) at the top of their game and hungry I think it'll take a miracle for Walker to see a podium this year. Ya' never know though, do ya' ? Good luck to him and I hope he doesn't feel too strong a backlash from Suzuki for the bad feelings in that situation. As Queen says in "fat bottom girls"......Just get on the bike and ride !
Well, good luck to him, but I think Honda basically signed him on in more of a test-rider role to help them develop the 4-stroke. Maybe they'll get around to telling him one of these days. And, realistically, I think Haga probably has a better shot at a podium finish in his first season.
With the close racing he has partaken in in british superbikes, and the physical way in which he races (the bumping and so on on the track) i think he has more than shown that his hunger to win is as fierce as any GP rider. As far as intensity goes he is at the top of GP already. If he can get the GP riding figured out then i think he will be in the top 3 very soon
The first part of your last sentence says it all. "If he can get the GP riding figured out" and if pigs could fly then hoof and mouth could spread even faster ! Ya' just never know....Look at Rossi in the first few races of last year and that's a guy who raced nothing but 2 stroke GP bikes in 125 and 250. Experience has to count for something. Two hands with his butt cheeks in them being handed to him. That's my final answer.
Power and weight of the bike affect riding style suitable for that bike in very interesting ways. In normal four-stroke production based racing power and weight go hand-in-hand. Essentially the bigger and more powerful the motorcycle, the less cornerspeed you are able to carry, but you can compensate for that by concentrating on setting up the drive out of a corner early. In other words, on a smaller bike, the strategy is to brake as little as possible and carry maximum cornerspeed through the turn. That way you don't have to rely on power too much. On bigger bikes, the strategy is to spend as little time as possible leaned over: you partially slide the rear with the brake (trailbraking) into the turn so as to point the bike into the apex. Then as the bike is pointed almost out of the turn, you stand it up and start the drive. It's okay that the bike is pointed like it's gonna run wide, because as you begin the drive, the rear slides and the bike oversteers. Easier said than done of course, but that's basically the big bike strategy. The problem for anyone transitioning into GP's from production based racing is that the bikes are dedicated racing machines and as such do not adhere to the same minimum weight limits as superbikes do. Hence, more power and much less weight. These bikes have both the power and the cornerspeed. That in itself doesn't sound too bad, except they don't have engine braking and are generally set up for completely different style corner entrances than "normal" bikes. You basically ride the front brake all the way into the apex, sometimes using the rear to steer. This extreme is foreign to anyone not familiar with top level GP bikes. To further complicate things, these machines deliver power in much less rider-friendly way. Small GP bikes are all about finding the power, whereas 500's are all about not highsiding Chris Walker has his work cut out for him.
I said that because that is pretty much what he said in his interview. He said that he was not used to the explosive powerband and the lack of engine breaking. I think if you would actually look at his record to date, it has shown that his number one asset is his adversity and adaptability. He jumped form dirt to street to WSBK, and now to GP.
So, like i said, i think he just needs a season to be on the bike, and then he will be in championship contention.
Actually you said that he would be in the top 3 very soon. Now you say he needs a season. I'm not trying to flame you...just help you come to a concrete decision. It's just an opinion anyway, don't sweat it.
He only got the NSR because Jurgen van den Goorbergh's sponsors didn't pay the promised money. One NSR without a rider, lets give Walker a call and lets spend some Royal Shell money on an Englisman who's hot and can help our sailes up after our pricing fiasco and strike problems lately.
That Haslam is funny too, crashed three bikes in a row in a recent test. Yup even a 500 twin is something different then a 125 Italjet ain't it?
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