“I am absolutely made-up to have signed on the dotted line to be a Rizla Suzuki BSB rider in 2007,” said Walker. “I think just about everyone knew how much I wanted the ride. It was number one on my wish list and I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now.
“The Rizla Suzuki team was exceptional at Mallory Park providing me with the platform to win the race despite years away from the circuit and having to get used to a new bike and Dunlop tyres. The performance of the 2006 GSX-R1000 I rode was mind blowing and just made me want to be a part of the team even more.
“I had a nervous week after Mallory Park waiting for the phone to ring but now it is all confirmed and it is a huge relief. My heartfelt thanks go to the team, Crescent Suzuki and to Suzuki GB in particular for their faith in me.
A four-time runner-up in BSB, most recently with Suzuki in 2000, Walker knows what it will take to win in the most competitive national Superbike Championship in the world.
The 34-year-old from Nottingham said: “The scale of the task before me and Rizla Suzuki is immense. I have watched the BSB Championship during the last couple of years and the competition is fierce and of extremely high quality. Given the level of riders and factory-backed machinery, I’d say it could be every bit as difficult as winning in World Superbikes.
“The big difference for me is I will be with Rizla Suzuki on a factory bike and that gives me great hope. The hard work starts now in preparation for the 2007 British Superbike Championship with a test at Valencia next week. We have a new bike to develop before the season starts.
“To all the ‘Stalker’ fans in the UK: I’m coming home and can’t wait to be racing in front of you. I hope you are looking forward to joining me on the next step of the adventure with Rizla Suzuki.”
Walker proved his class by winning a race at Assen World Superbikes in August, but he is expecting to be pushed next year by his new Rizla Suzuki team mate Cal Crutchlow, the reigning British Supersport Champion and one of Britain’s hottest young talents.
Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Chris really wanted to race for Rizla Suzuki and his positive, hard-riding, never-give-up attitude at Mallory Park’s Race of the Year convinced us he was the right person for the job. With his experience and ability, matched with Cal’s raw enthusiasm and talent, we have what we believe is a very strong team for 2007.”
Walker’s first public appearances as a Rizla Suzuki racer will be at Birmingham’s NEC Bike Show on Trade and Preview days 26-27th October, on the Suzuki stand T174, Hall 19. He will then travel to Valencia with the Rizla Suzuki Superbike team for a test alongside the MotoGP regulars on 1-2nd November before returning to the NEC Show on November 4-5th.