Steve English's blog

Steve English Suzuka 8 Hours Blog: The Best Team Won, But Was That The Right Result?

The 2019 Suzuka 8 Hours was the greatest race I’ve witnessed in the flesh. It was tremendous from start to finish...it was just the extra time that left a bitter aftertaste.

With only one lap remaining we had witnessed the greatest spectacle imaginable. Three teams - Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda - had treated us to a feast of great racing. With the eight hour mark in sight we had seen twenty lead changes, and up until the final half hour all three teams were within 30 seconds of each other. Suzuka is always reckoned to be a series of sprint races wrapped up as an endurance outing but this race truly was just that.

It was unbelievable. Standing trackside I just wanted to get back inside to watch it on the TV and fully understand what was happening. If you believe that you’d believe anything. I was sweating so much in the heat that I was running dangerously low of bodily fluids but even in that state of reduced mental capacity I could see this was an all-time classic.

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Steve English Blog: Four Paddocks In Four Weeks - A Month Of Contrasts

There's a lot to like in this paddock…

Over the last four weeks I've been working in the WorldSBK, British Superbike, CEV and MotoGP paddocks. There's a lot of differences between them but there's a lot of similarities too.

"You'll love it at [insert circuit x, series y], they're a great bunch of people." It's a common refrain when you say you'll be leaving familiar confines and heading to another series. There's always something to take from any series. Since I started working as a journalist, I've worked in pretty much every two- and four-wheeled paddock in the world. Initially I was combining holidays or work trips with races. Pretty quickly I was combining race weekends with work trips...

Trying to get a foothold in the industry, I was lucky to already be working as a 'travelling salesman'. At the time I was a telecoms engineer offering training courses around the world, and luckily for me, most of the customers for my product happened to be in countries holding major races! There's no way I could have managed to go to Daytona for the 500 and then Sebring for the 12 Hours if it wasn't for my job. It's amazing what you can justify to the accounts department when there's a bucket list event to be ticked off!

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Steve English Blog: BSB vs WorldSBK - What's The Difference Between You And Me?

When people talk about the differences between BSB and WorldSBK the biggest talking point is the relative competitiveness of both. What are the biggest factors?

I’m a self confessed addict. There’s nothing better than sitting down on a Sunday to watch racing. It doesn’t matter what it is. Cars or bikes I’ll be sitting down to watch it. My earliest memories are of sitting down and watching Formula 1 and from when I started to watch World Superbikes and 500GP in the 90’s I was fully hooked.

Missing school on a Friday and watching practice sessions wasn’t a regular occurrence but it did happen on far too many occasions to be purely coincidental. I can still remember being a schoolboy and seeing British and American Superbike stars wild card, take pole positions and race wins. It was a magical time for Superbike racing when it was the biggest game in town in the UK and Ireland.

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