Sheffield Tigers star Josh Bates last night became a full asset of the club.
Bates, who won the British U21 title in April, has joined from Mildenhall but will stay riding for the Fen side in the National League. He’s due to make his return to the saddle in tonight’s Premier League revenge clash with Scunthorpe at Owlerton (7.45).
Sheffield fought off interest from Elite League clubs to secure his signature.
The Barnsley-based racer said: “It’s a good move for me because of my links with Sheffield; I’m pleased it’s all sorted.”
Bates does believe, however, he has been the subject of some rough treatment since winning the national title.
“I feel as though other riders are trying to be hard on me and give me the odd bump” he said.
“I don’t mind, it just means I have to be sharper and tougher myself to make sure I’m still winning and scoring points.”
Bates was forced to miss the Tigers’ League Cup semi-final thumping at Edinburgh last Friday due to back trouble.
He had pulled up in his final ride the previous night as Sheffield saw off Glasgow 52-41 at Owlerton to grab a first league victory of the campaign.
Bates was hurt the previous weekend in a spill at Stoke while racing for Mildenhall, although X-rays revealed no major issues.
“It was a really big crash at Stoke” added Bates. “Myself and their rider Jon Armstrong gave each other a bit of a shove going into the corner and my throttle stuck open. There was nothing I could do to avoid crashing.”
SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Taylor Poole, Leigh Lanham, Andre Compton, Ty Proctor R/R, Simon Nielsen, Josh Bates.
SCUNTHORPE: Nicolai Klindt, David Howe, Ashley Birks, Josh Auty, Ryan Douglas, Matt Williamson, Thomas Jorgensen.