JOSH Auty has been handed a wildcard slot in the first round of the World Under-21 Final.
It’s some consolation for the Sheffield rider who saw his chances of qualifying for the showpiece event ruined by a broken ankle in a qualifying round in Germany early last month.
But he has made a successful return to Tigers colours and, along with Jerran Hart, he will represent Great Britain at Poole on Sunday, July 24. Poole stars Dennis Andersson and Darcy Ward are favourites for the meeting but there are other Elite League stars in the field including Coventry’s Polish sensation Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Swindon’s Maciej Janowski and Eastbourne’s Swedish star Simon Gustafsson.
Said Auty: “I was heartbroken when I broke my ankle because it ruled me out of the British Final but also ended my hopes of qualifying for the World Under-21 Final.
“At least this way we have a chance to experience a round of the final at Poole and that’s a track I’ve ridden before with Coventry in the Elite League and I’ve quite enjoyed it.”
The final is staged over four rounds for the first time this year with every point gained counting towards the totals in similar fashion to the Grand Prix.
And although Auty is only pencilled in for the Poole round, he can be a spoiler on his day.
He said: “I know I can be on the pace and beat good riders but we’ll just see what happens on the day.
“In any meeting I go out onto the track to give it my very best and that’s all I can do. I’m just pleased to be back on a bike and although I’m not quite 100 per cent I’m sure it will improve week by week and I can score more and more points.
Tigers are facing up to a massive spell of action in the race for the Premier League title this week with a home meeting against Scunthorpe on Thursday followed by Saturday’s trip to Leicester.