King's Lynn rider in much better place mentally ahead of 2021 Premiership campaign
King’s Lynn Stars number one Craig Cook insists he is mentally in a much better place while preparing for the 2021 Premiership campaign.
Lockdown and an enforced year-long sabbatical from speedway have ended up clearing his mind and the Cumbrian says the result is there is “no pressure” on him to perform during his second season at the Adrian Flux Arena.
Cook feels the mental break has been more beneficial than a physical one as he and the shale sport are ready to race after a coronavirus-prompted hiatus.
He also says the year he hit the Grand Prix big time ended up being a proverbial millstone around his neck.
The Whitehaven-born ace in 2018 became a full-time member of the Speedway GP Series after being given a qualification position when he finished fourth in the Speedway Grand Prix Challenge Final.
But a nightmare campaign saw no podium spots from 13 GP starts.
The 33-year-old told the Lynn News about that recent tumultuous period chasing world glory against the Nicki Pedersens, Bartosz Zmarzliks and Jason Doyles of this world: “Speedway took a toll on me.
“Things had gone so well in 2017 but then they started going wrong.
“It was the biggest year of my life in 2018 and I was chasing my tail with the GPs. It affected me a lot because I was searching so hard trying to get the bike working how it was. It is what it is. We tried to get it back to that level.
“The break from working tirelessly trying to bring it back is something I haven’t had to do now.
“The mental break has been more of a help to me than a physical break has.”
Cook commented in a social media message about his return in a Minors & Brady Stars race jacket: “I’m looking forward to seeing you all in May.
“I really enjoyed my time there in the 2019 season, so to come back was a no-brainer for me.
“There is lots going on behind the scenes. Training has been going well, everything is mechanically sound. There is no pressure on me this year. I’m going to enjoy it and hopefully you’ll see the best Craig Cook you’ve seen so far.”