Bike crash was good omen for Sheffield Tigers’ rider

Josh Bates, Sheffield Tigers speedway and U21 champ
Josh Bates, Sheffield Tigers speedway and U21 champ
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Barnsley racer Josh Bates has revealed how crashing in Thursday’s British Under-21 Final spurred him on to glory for the second time.

The 20-year-old Tigers favourite was drawn into the air fence after trying a bit too hard in his final programmed ride against the previously unbeaten Robert Lambert.

But Bates says that incident played a major part in how his night would pan out as it made him even more determined to be victorious in both the semi and the Grand Final.

Said Bates: “I did it the hard way again by having to get through the semi’s because of me crashing but it may have been a blessing in disguise.

“If I’m being honest, I’m glad I came off in my last ride because it changed the way I looked at the rest of the night.

“At first I was so angry and disappointed with myself but I told myself I’d got to man up, crack on with things and see what happened.

Josh Bates

Josh Bates

“It really fired me up and made me even more determined.

“I told myself to go for it, give it everything I’d got and to just go flat out.

“That’s what I did and I’m so glad I did that because that was one of the best feelings ever.

“Words will never be able to properly explain how I felt after winning it on Thursday.

“First time around in 2014 felt good but back then, no-one expected me to come close and I was only just starting out then really.

“This time on my home track I knew there were plenty of people hoping for big things and I didn’t want to disappoint them!

“I won the British Under-19’s last year, I’m now two time British Under-21 Champion as well - I’m only looking up from here let me tell you that now!”

Bates will be back on track with the Tigers at Owlerton this Thursday when they host Ipswich in the League Cup.