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Working in MotoGP: Repsol Honda Press Officer Steve Westlake

Working in MotoGP: Repsol Honda Press Officer Steve Westlake

In todays Working in MotoGP interview Steve Westlake answers motogp.coms questions about his role as press officer for the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, in which he works closely with reigning premier class World Champion Nicky Hayden.

In todays Working in MotoGP interview Steve Westlake answers motogp.coms questions about his role as press officer for the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, in which he works closely with reigning premier class World Champion Nicky Hayden.

Throughout the 2007 summer break Working in MotoGP will take you behind the scenes in the MotoGP paddock, as we meet a wide selection of people who play significant roles off the track in the World Championship and they reveal the specifics of their involvement in Grand Prix racing.

Westlakes job as press officer involves generating and managing media exposure for the team. At Grands Prix he essentially acts as a bridge between the journalists present and the Repsol Honda team members riders and mechanics - whilst also providing press information for additional members of the media, whether they are at the circuit or not.

What are your main responsibilities?
Providing the link between the media and the Repsol Honda Team and communicating the team´s progress. That means fielding all requests for information, but mostly it involves arranging media access to the riders for interviews and photoshoots. Plus writing the daily press releases.

What are the hardest aspects of your job?
Pleasing everybody. You can´t do it. There are far more requests for interviews and appearances than can be provided. Everyone believes they have a good case so there are many times you just have to say ´no, sorry´. Also, the mechanics and riders find the media stuff a distraction to their real jobs, understandably so, so there´s a certain amount of cajoling to be done, which isn´t exactly a barrel of laughs.

What are the most exciting and rewarding moments in your job?
Knowing you´ve done a good job is rewarding. So when the press appointments run smoothly and you get thanks for giving people what they need, that´s good. There´s a massive buzz when one of the Team´s riders gets a good result too. Like Nicky´s podium at Assen after all he´s gone through this season - that was really special. Even though I just write the press releases, it feels good to be part of the team at those moments.

How do you prepare for each Grand Prix?
Sleep first. Then prepare notebooks, press releases, interviews and rider timetables.

How does your typical routine for each day of a Grand Prix weekend differ?
From Friday to Sunday there´s not much variation. Everything is very regimented, timewise. Thursday can often be the busiest day because that´s when the bulk of the media appointments are.

What is your advice for anyone wishing to work in a similar role as yourself?
Don´t worry about riders or journalists or team members being stroppy - it gets a little tense at times.

How do you stay on top of your game over the course of an 18 round season?
Who says I´m at the top of my game? Well you´ve just got to be professional, take it seriously while enjoying what you do.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Anthony West, Repsol Honda Team

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