+ BAKER’S BRI­TAIN+

‘THE TRANSAT­LANTIC WAS COOL’

Classic Bike (UK) - - Steve Baker's Star-Spangled Season -

Baker made his Euro­pean de­but in 1975, weeks af­ter his first Day­tona podium got him a ride in the Transat­lantic Match Races, the an­nual USA ver­sus Bri­tain show­down at Brands Hatch, Mal­lory and Oul­ton Park cir­cuits ev­ery Easter.

Baker didn’t ride at Brands on that visit, be­cause the cir­cuit was un­der a blan­ket of snow, but he did play his part in the Amer­i­cans win­ning the event for the first time. The fol­low­ing Easter he came back a faster, bet­ter rider and was the hero of the week­end, tak­ing four vic­to­ries from six rides. In 1977 he was sec­ond-best scorer, one point be­hind Hen­nen. In 1978 he was ab­sent be­cause he had to race his Gal­lina Suzuki in an Ital­ian even.

“The Transat­lantic was my in­tro­duc­tion to road rac­ing in Eng­land, so it was big eye-opener for me. It was cool,” says Baker. “The week­end was al­ways fun – it was the only time you were with rid­ers you were com­pet­ing with as a team; we all got to know each other a lot bet­ter. It was pretty neat.”

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