King's Lynn Stars heat leader looking forward to Monday night's East Anglian derby clash against Ipswich Witches
King’s Lynn Stars heat leader Craig Cook is looking forward to Monday’s home East Anglian derby but suggests a track tweak in order to foil rivals Ipswich Witches.
Last time out against their local opponents here at the Adrian Flux Arena, the meeting was a thrilling 45-45 draw.
But Cook wants a clash that’s less one for the neutral and more three Premiership league points for Lynn, and suggested a slight change of tack, or rather track, to secure a win.
“Another win would be very, very nice,” he said. “Obviously they’ve got Bomber (Chris Harris) who rides very well when it’s grippy.
“If we go on what we’ve seen – the track was very grippy last time – I think if we can do something a little bit different and it will help us just get that advantage because the track is very, very hard to ride.
“To be honest, I don’t feel at home here. I’m enjoying my time here and everyone has been very welcoming, but for me the track is hard.
“I don’t feel relaxed. I feel as if I’m fighting the bike all the time. It will be nice to settle, ride the bike and race the bike hard and enjoy the racing rather just hanging on.”
The Cumbrian has been riding through the pain barrier with a wrist injury sustained in the Speedway of Nations.
Cook added: “It’s a bit sore. It’s not too bad once you get the adrenaline going and the helmet on. You put it to the back of your mind.”
Hellishly hot and dry conditions made track preparation a tricky proposition during Lynn’s previous meeting versus Peterborough during last week’s heatwave.
“We did a brilliant job (against Peterborough in a 55-35 success) but the track was very difficult and a bit grippier than usual.
“Several guys are all doing well but feel very uncomfortable. We just need to feel comfortable on the track and enjoy the racing.
“For me speedway is about being relaxed on the bike, not just hanging on for grim death and being pulled around.
“Hopefully the next meeting we’ll sort something out. Speedway bikes are not there to be ridden, they’re there to be raced. You should be able to come in with full momentum, with full commitment, and be able to race side by side.
“Buster (Chapman) does a fantastic job and knows hows to prepare the track, but it’s a bit too much.”
British Final, Belle Vue: 1 Charles Wright (Peterborough/Redcar), 2 Danny King (Ipswich/Sheffield), 3 Craig Cook (King’s Lynn/Glasgow), 4 Chris Harris (Ipswich/Somerset).
7.30pm parade unless stated
Premiership: King’s Lynn v Ipswich, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue.
Premiership: Poole v Ipswich, Swindon v Wolverhampton.
Team M W F A Pts
Poole 15 9 685 647 33
Ipswich 16 8 729 698 33
Belle Vue 17 9 770 742 31
Swindon 14 7 648 611 24
Wolverhampton 15 6 660 678 22
King’s Lynn 15 5 672 677 19
Peterborough 16 5 664 775 17