+ BAKER’S BRITAIN+
‘THE TRANSATLANTIC WAS COOL’
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.”