PAUL SIMON STARKE
DATE OF BIRTH : 18th November 1990, Hereford, Herefordshire.
Paul has spent his entire life surrounded by motorcycles and immersed in racing from a very young age. Watching his father Tony’s racing career in 500cc grass track and 500cc sidecar racing, Paul decided he wanted to be the other side of the fence and involved in the action himself. It soon became apparent that this was the direction Paul's future was heading, so Tony made the decision to give up on his own racing commitments and dedicate his time and expenditure to Paul's racing.
Starke Racing was born and the speedway journey began.
Paul's first entry into speedway was to race for the Birmingham Bulls and Swindon Sprockets in the Academy League during the 2007 season. His impressive scoring saw him offered a team position mid season with the Buxton Hitmen in the British Conference League. He then travelled south for a two year spell with the Plymouth Devils, picking up his first silverware helping the team to the Conference and National League Trophies in successive years, together with the Knockout Cup.
Starting the 2010 season once again with Plymouth, Paul also rode for Rye House, before heading over to the Island to join the Isle of Wight for the remainder of the season. After two solid seasons as an Islander in the National League, Paul set his sights on a move up to the Premier league, signing for the Berwick Bandits, whilst also making the move to represent Dudley in the National League the same year.
2014 was to be Paul's busiest year to date, riding in all three tiers of the British league system. He made his Elite league debut with the Birmingham Brummies, whilst switching to his parent club Somerset in the Premier league at the same time continuing his National League commitments with Dudley, now renamed Cradley.
After a superb 2014 season, Paul moved out of the National League, and was snapped up by Matt Ford to become a Pirate at Poole in the Elite league, whilst remaining as a Rebel at Somerset in the Premier league. This was to be the major turning point in Paul's personal career. Many memorable rides, some of which were captured live on Sky Sports saw Paul's stature rise in the sport as he helped both clubs to an array or silverware.
A move up to Leicester the following year whilst remaining with the Rebels saw Paul have a solid season all round, before his parent club recalled him the following year to ride with them in the now Premiership league. Paul doubled up again signing for the Peterborough Panthers in the Championship league for another busy season on track. Whilst his middle tier speedway was progressing well, a mid season switch up in riding personal at Somerset saw Paul leave the club only to be snapped up by the Pirates once more, with Paul finishing the season in good form.
2018 saw Paul focus on his Championship commitments, having signed to ride for the go ahead promotion up country in Glasgow, although partaking in short spells for Belle Vue and Poole in the Premiership. A series of bad crashes entailed during the middle of the season, which hampered his progress and stopped him reaching the scoring potential he is capable of.
With a return to Glasgow in the Championship league, 2019 started promisingly, securing steady consistent scoring in the main body of the team. Going into the British Final off the back of some of his best scores in the season so far confidence was high. However, a coming together in his third ride with the eventual meeting winner Charles Wright, resulted in two broken wrists. Despite intense physio and specialist treatment, Paul was unable to reach his goal of coming back take part in the end of season play offs, and ended the season frustratingly sat on the sidelines supporting his Glasgow team mates as they raced in the Championship finals.
The 2020 season will always be remembered as the season that never was due to the Covid 19 virus. The British League season was cancelled without a wheel being turned for Paul's new club the Kent Kings. However, Paul did manage to race in 2 individual meetings, the first beset with machinery issues and an up and down performance in the British Final towards the end of the year.
2021 was a great year for Paul. His season commenced racing for the Kent 'Kings' in the Championship League, with great performances soon catching the eye of the Ipswich Promoters, who swiftly signed Paul up midway through the season to double up and ride for the Witches in the Premiership League. Outstanding riding and consistent scoring saw Paul's averages rise for both clubs, making him an integral member of his teams, with on occasions match winning performances.
With the shock news of Kent's withdrawal from racing in the 2022 season, Newcastle quickly signed Paul up to join the Diamonds in the Championship League, whilst he travelled back to Ipswich to represent the 'Witches' in the Premiership League also. With Newcastle closing mid season, Paul was quickly signed up to ride for the Oxford Cheetahs in the Championship league, where he finished his season as a solid second string.
2023 sees Paul travel back down south, this time returning to his old club Plymouth, to represent the Gladiators in the Championship league. It is also Paul's official Testimonial year, which saw Paul celebrate over 10 years of British League racing. A successful Testimonial meeting took place at Plymouth, seeing 3 of Paul's most successful clubs throughout his career Cradley, Poole and Somerset join the Gladiators in a 4 Team Tournament comprising of close friends of Paul's taking to the track for his evening. Looking ahead, Paul is focussing on consistency and powerful points scoring to enable him to move up into a heat leader position in the Gladiators Team.
(2010) Plymouth, Rye House, Isle of Wight
(2011) Isle of Wight
(2012) Isle of Wight
(2013) Berwick, Dudley
(2014) Birmingham, Somerset, Cradley
(2015) Poole, Somerset
(2016) Leicester, Somerset
(2017) Somerset, Peterborough
(2018) Glasgow, Belle Vue, Poole
(2021) Ipswich, Kent
(2022) Ipswich, Newcastle, Oxford
(2008) Conference Trophy winner & Knockout Cup winner (Plymouth)
(2009) National Trophy Winner (Plymouth)
(2013) National League Winner, Knockout Cup Winner & National Shield Winner, Four Team Championship Winner (Dudley)
(2014) Premier Shield Winner (Somerset), National League Winner, Knockout Cup Winner, National Shield Winner & Championship Four Team
(2015) Elite League Winner, Elite Shield Winner (Poole), Knockout Cup Winner (Somerset)
(2016) Premier League Winner (Somerset), British Final 9th (Belle Vue), Elite League Riders Championship 9th (Coventry)
(2017) Knockout Cup Final & Championship Four Team Winner (Peterborough)
Background images by
Taylor Lanning & CBMXI Images