West Norfolk motorcyclist Peter Baker fourth in last Morello Services Thundersport GP 1 Championship
West Norfolk motorcyclist Peter Baker finished fourth in the last Morello Services Thundersport GP 1 Championship – the first time he has finished outside the top three of any end-of-season standings in his 17-year career.
Baker, 53, begins his quest to retain the title he won in 2009 at Brands Hatch on Saturday, and insists he has a point to prove after last season's 'nightmare' campaign.
'Last season was a campaign of two halves – I wasted the first because I changed my tyres to Pirelli and had a nightmare,' said Baker. 'I just found it so hard to get used to them and had a 142mph crash at Donington. I changed back to the tyres I know and love – Dunlop – and improved in the second half of the season but by then it was too late.
'I want to put the last campaign right and I really feel I have a point to prove. Some people might say I did well last time round because of my age but that's not how I see it. I made mistakes and that's it. Age is just a number. I've been in the gym and I'm as fit now as I've ever been. I can't wait to get racing again.'
The West Winch racer, director of Motorcycles Direct in King's Lynn, will be riding his Morello Services Suzuki GSXR100 superbike for the fourth season running.
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He won two of the three races during last season's round at the Kent circuit and admits he needs another similar weekend to get his campaign off to a flier.
'We'll race once on Saturday and twice on Sunday and I want to get off to a really good start,' said Baker. 'It's an ideal place to begin the season as I do love Brands Hatch – it's one of my favourite circuits.
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'I work all week on bikes and then I go out and race them. My bike is still the one to beat and it is down to me to make it happen. That thrill and adrenaline of racing still hasn't left me.'
Baker thanked his trainer Andrew Wilson at Imagine Health & Spa at Knights Hill Hotel in King's Lynn for his help in getting him fit during the close season.
The 53-year-old thanked the following sponsors for their support ahead of the 2012 campaign: Morello Services, Motorcycles Direct, Southern Mastic Roofing, Red Cat Hotel, Stannard Motors, Imagine Health & Spa, Forma Personal Training, Guyan Transport, DV8 Paintwork and Morris Oils.