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  Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Walker primed for GSE
Chris Walker (right) with Neil Hodgson
Walker (right) replaces Hodgson (left) at GSE Ducati
Chris Walker is to replace Neil Hodgson on the GSE Racing Ducati team in the World Superbike Championship after agreeing a one-year deal.

Walker opted to take his place at the Ashford-based team following Hodgson's decision to join the factory Ducati Corse outfit.

The Nottingham rider joins James Toseland on the HM Plant-backed team for the 2003 season and has an option to extend the contract at the end of next year.


It's going to be brilliant to have access to machinery that's capable of winning the championship
Chris Walker

A four-times runner-up in the British Superbike Championship, Walker is in eighth spot in the championship, five points behind Toseland.

He moved back to superbikes in 2002 after enduring a difficult season in 500 GPs for Shell Advance Honda.

And Walker has impressed despite being diagnosed with Bells Palsy which left one side of his face paralysed for several months.

"I'm incredibly grateful to have been given such a fantastic opportunity," he said.

"I worked with team manager Colin Wright in 1998 and have wanted to repeat the experience ever since.

"GSE Racing is one of the best teams in the paddock and it will be good for the fans to have a third year of two British riders campaigning for a British team.


Walker and Toseland will be a force to be reckoned with in 2003
Colin Wright
GSE team manager

"I realise it's not just a case of jumping on a great bike and winning races, but it is going to be brilliant to have access to machinery that's capable of winning the championship."

Wright, meanwhile, was delighted with the new deal.

"Chris is the ideal man to ride alongside James Toseland and we are delighted to have him on board.

"Despite a lot of obstacles being placed in his way, he has performed exceptionally well in only his first season at world level.

"Walker and Toseland will be a force to be reckoned with in 2003."


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28 Jul 02 | Motorbikes
15 Jul 02 | Motorbikes
15 Jul 02 | Motorbikes
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