Proud to be a King’s Lynn Stars speedway skipper again – that’s the reaction of Norfolk’s Robert Lambert.
The Norwich-born rider celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday (Thursday, April 5).
As well as being named captain for the second year running, the Great Britain star will have a busy international season.
Asked whether he was proud to be appointed Tru Plant Stars skipper for the 2018 SGB Premiership campaign, Lambert replied: “Yes, for sure. I had a good season last year as captain, also number one.
“I’m pleased to get the role again and improve on last year. Ty (vice-captain Proctor) is an experienced rider as well so, you know, I’ll take a lot from him.
“Any meetings I’ll miss, he’ll certainly fill my boots. Can we make a play-off bid? I think so.”
Lambert has the opportunity to defend his British Under-21 and European U19 and U21 titles.
He added: “The main British title I didn’t get a chance last year as they didn’t let me in (a van breakdown cost Lambert his chance of becoming champion).
“Obviously to get that would be awesome, and also to get in the European Championships again would be a great achievement, and to qualify for the World Under-21’s.
“I want to do the Grand Prix qualifiers and the European Championships, so I’m looking forward to the season.”
There will be no World Cup in 2018, which has been replaced by the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations.
Seven countries will compete in two Race Offs at separate locations on June 2 and June 5, with the top three teams from each joining hosts Poland in the two-round final on June 8 and 9 at Wroclaw’s Olympic Stadium.
Lambert is eager to cement a place: “For sure I’m looking forward to it. It’s changed a bit from the World Cup and we’ll see what happens,” he commented.
“Only three riders will get picked for that. That’s brought it down a bit, but I’m sure if I put in good performances, hopefully I’ll get picked.
“That’s one of my goals as well.”
An advantage for the younger Lambert is that each nation has the option to name an under-21 reserve, who can race in an unlimited number of their side’s heats at the team manager’s discretion.
It’s the first occasion a World Championship event has been decided over a pairs format since the 1998 World Team Cup.