Broken heels for Walker and Hillier at Knockhill
Chris Walker's brave efforts are halted by technical issues, while his team-mate James Hillier picks up his own broken heel after a race one fall.
Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki riders Chris Walker and James Hillier face a race against time to be fit for the next MCE British Superbike Championship round at Oulton Park after both suffering broken heels at Knockhill.
Walker's injuries were well documented over the weekend, the BSB veteran doing an impressive job to qualify and start both races at the Scottish venue after an accident during free practice left him nursing fractures in both of his heels.
In the end, technical issues that would prevent a brave Walker from maintaining his run of points' finishes, the Oulton Park race winner subsequently losing ground in the fight for the top six title showdown too.
Remarkably however, Pr1mo Bournemouth's poor luck took its toll on Walker's team-mate Hillier too, who crashed at the hairpin on the opening lap of the first race. The heavy tumble has also left him with a broken heel, as well as a fractured hand, injuries that could see him on the sidelines for Oulton Park in two weeks' time.
"Anything that could have gone wrong this weekend has gone wrong and we've ended with five DNF's, three broken heels and a broken hand so to say it's been disappointing would be an understatement," reflected team manager Peter Extance. "The team worked so hard and it's just been one of those unfortunate meetings where nothing's gone right. We had high hopes of Chris moving into the top six of the Championship this weekend and although he crashed, he gritted his teeth and was truly heroic in going out to race.
"The fact that he was thwarted by mechanical problems rather than being held back by his injuries makes it even more disappointing and frustrating for him."
"To then have James suffer an identical injury shows how unlucky we've been this weekend. He was on such a high after some great results at the TT but he's come here and had three crashes, eventually leaving on crutches. We're just all disappointed right now but a big thanks to the team for all their efforts and also to the medical staff for looking after Chris and James so well.
"I'd also like to thank Paul Bird's team for loaning us a swingarm for Chris' bike as without that, there's no way we would have been able to have the bike ready. We'll take stock of everything over the next couple of weeks and, hopefully, both riders will be strong enough to race at the next round.