AMERICAN star Ricky Wells is hoping a more professional approach to his racing will propel him to the next level in his career.
The New Zealand-born racer is back at Sheffield for a second consecutive season after a solid debut campaign, and forms a powerful spearhead with Simon Stead and Richard Hall.
Wells has, for the first time in his career, hired a full-time mechanic this year and has the considerable experience of 1993 World Champion Sam Ermelenko in his corner, something he hopes will benefit both himself and the Tigers.
He said: “I’ve got a bit of a team around me this year for the first time and it should make a difference, it’s a big step. My mechanic Warren worked with Sam and he was with Tai Woffinden too, and he takes care of most things in the workshop now.
“Before, I was flat-out in the workshop and it takes its toll, but I know that Warren can take care of everything and I can concentrate on just riding the bike.”
That sort of commitment doesn’t come cheap though, and Wells knows this year carries more pressure.
He said: “I’ve got my own personal goals each week, at the start of the year I sat down and mapped out what I need to do every week to keep my head above water.
“I’m taking a more business-like approach to my racing, I’ve got bills to pay and it’s important to keep on top of things.
“I’ve got my own personal targets every week and I want to achieve them. If I do that then it’ll benefit the team, and I’m determined to have a good year.
“It’s a big season for me and I’m really looking forward to it, we’ve got a great group of guys and we want to have a good year.”